Clippers owner Donald Sterling does care about winning. He does. Not more than he cares about profit, but he does care about winning.
And like any good head of a company, it’s his job to motivate his employees. Push their buttons to get them to do their best. Like this exchange heard between Sterling and Baron Davis on the court before the Clippers win over the Pistons Wednesday, as overheard by Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News. (Via Clipperblog)
“Baron, I need you to make sure it comes together,” Sterling told him, in no uncertain terms.
“Yes sir. And I believe it will,” Davis reiterated.
“Look, I’m a man who makes things happen, and I need you to make this happen,” Sterling said… “You know what would make me smile?” Sterling said. “You scoring 20 points tonight. That would make me smile.”
“Then I’ll make you smile,” Davis promised.
“The thing is, I don’t need you taking 60 shots to do it,” Sterling warned.
For the record, Davis had 10 points of 4 of 10 shooting, but he added seven assists and the Clippers won so everybody went home happy. Thanks to Donald Sterling and his master motivating techniques.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.