Doc Rivers really doesn’t know.
Doesn’t know how fans should react to this, although he hopes they support the players. He doesn’t know what the league will do or how his players will react to that action. He doesn’t know how they will play Tuesday night.
Listen to him and you believe him. And you can’t blame him — this is uncharted territory. Clearly the racist statements allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling (Rivers said he had no doubt Sterling made them) have effected his team as they search for a way to deal with it. Rivers gave his players the day off on Monday, but most of them were at the practice facility. Rivers again stepped in front of the media again and answered questions as best he could (he’s been great about that and trying to shield the players), but he really doesn’t know the answers. Here are Rivers’ comments, via tweets from ESPN’s Arash Markazi, Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears, and Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.
On Donald Sterling reaching out to talk to him:
On what the league will do:
On the Clippers players:
On the Clippers fans and their reaction:
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.