Tag: Blake Griffin

Charlotte Hornets v Los Angeles Clippers

Doc Rivers: Lance Stephenson starting for Clippers is worst-case scenario


The Clippers did the scary thing and traded for Lance Stephenson.

Now, they must figure out how to use him.

Clippers coach/president Doc Rivers on The Beat 980, via Arash Markazi of ESPN:

“I like that [Stephenson] can play multiple positions — really 2, 3 and 1 — because he’s a terrific passer,” Rivers told The Beast 980. “I don’t know if I made the trade for him to be a starter, per se, I look at him really more to be a utility player that can come in and play literally three different positions for us. When you look at us, we needed toughness and more athleticism and we get that.”

But if Stephenson isn’t going to be a starter, who’s going to be the team’s starting small forward for 2015-16?

“We find him, we work, we still have work to do,” Rivers said. “In the worst case and it’s not a bad case [Lance starts], and I still think that Lance is an upgrade at that position even if we wanted to start him. But I’m planning on doing more things this summer without saying much. We’re not done, clearly.”

I like the idea of Stephenson coming off the bench. He’s best with the ball in his hands, but the Clippers are way better running their offense through Chris Paul. Even Blake Griffin, who has developed impressive playmaking skills, is probably a better option due the mismatches created by being a focal point from the frontcourt.

The Clippers’ bench could certainly use more punch. However, Stephenson’s skills are somewhat redundant with Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers. That’s probably more of a problem for Crawford and Rivers, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, than for Stephenson.

The bigger concern than managing the bench is finding a starting small forward to replace Matt Barnes, who was dealt to the Hornets – though the issues could be related. The Clippers could try trading Crawford and  a draft pick for a wing, as they did last season. They could also attempt to sign Paul Pierce with the mid-level exception.

Overall, I’m with Rivers. Starting Stephenson wouldn’t be the end of the world. But the Clippers should attempt to form a roster that doesn’t require him to start.

Report: Pelicans have second interview with Alvin Gentry

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Five

Tom Thibodeau is available. Jeff Van Gundy wants the job.

But Alvin Gentry is the guy that New Orleans GM Dell Demps has had his eye on. The former NBA head coach and current lead assistant of the Golden State Warriors just got his second interview with the Pelicans (this time with VP Micky Loomis in the room), reports John Reid of the Times-Picayune.

But unlike nine days ago when he was interviewed for the first time in San Francisco, Gentry’s second interview occurred in New Orleans, sources say.

Gentry is the first known candidate to be extended a second interview by the Pelicans. But sources confirm that Jeff Van Gundy is still in the mix, along with Tom Thibodeau and Vinny Del Negro.

Nothing is going to happen imminently here; Gentry is helping the Warriors gameplan for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals right now. Having more than a week off before the start of the Finals allowed Gentry time to get to New Orleans for the interview, but he’ll be busy for the next couple of weeks.

Gentry would be different in style than the recently-fired Monty Williams (and sort of the polar opposite of Thibodeau) — he’s a player’s coach whose specialty is on the offensive end of the court. Gentry is the best offensive mind available on the open coaching market, having helped Steve Kerr put the powerhouse Warriors offense together this season. The season before that he was the right hand to Doc Rivers in Los Angeles and handled that offense, where he led Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to being the most inefficient offense in the NBA. Gentry runs a modern NBA offense with ball-screens, motion, up-tempo play and plenty of three-point shooting to space the floor.

Imagine what he could do to better utilize Anthony Davis (especially with a healthy Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson). That said, the Pelicans had a top 10 offense last season, the problem was their bottom 10 defense. It would be interesting to see if Gentry would bring in a defensive specialist as his lead assistant.

Gentry has more than 700 games as an NBA head coach and a .475 win percentage in them.


Doc Rivers on report that Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan had a falling out: ‘I can put this to rest: They get along great’

Los Angeles Clippers v Atlanta Hawks

Once the Clippers were eliminated from the postseason, questions immediately began to surface as to what the makeup of the team might look like next season.

The core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan has yet to carry L.A. to the promised land, and the Clippers need to decide if Jordan is worth locking up with a max contract this summer in order to keep the team intact.

A report emerged that Paul and Jordan had a falling out during the season, perhaps rooted in Jordan’s inability to shoot free throws, and the work he was or was not willing to put in to turn things around.

Doc Rivers, as you might imagine, was eager to quash those rumors during a recent radio appearance.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

“I can put this to rest: They get along great,” Rivers told Fred Roggin of The Beast 980 on Thursday. “Clearly, like everybody, they don’t get along all the time, and they don’t get along with me all the time, either, by the way. I don’t see that as an issue. I think all three, and I’m including Blake in this as well, understand how important the other guy is to them. Meaning, they all three need each other to win, and I think all three get that and all three know that and all three want to do it together. To me, that’s the most important thing.”

It’s beyond interesting that Rivers threw Blake Griffin’s name into the mix during this discussion, because there were rumblings out of Los Angeles during the season that Paul and Griffin had a strained relationship at times, as well.

The Clippers finished the regular season with the league’s most efficient offense — that’s right, it was even better than that of the Golden State Warriors. And, they did it with little to no help from the reserve unit, which featured only Jamal Crawford as a reliable option to contribute in heavy minutes off the bench.

Paul is as fiery a competitor as they come, so it’s only natural that his personality would be grating to teammates over time — much in the same way that Kobe Bryant’s non-stop, demanding and ultra-competitive nature can get old with those who are even slightly less committed.

But that’s a far cry from irreconcilable differences, which is the point Rivers was likely trying to make, here, while largely dancing around the specific issue.

Mavericks considering signing-and-trading Tyson Chandler for DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan, Tyson Chandler

DeAndre Jordan is reportedly interested in signing with the Mavericks.

That’d mean Dallas loses Tyson Chandler, who’s also a pending free agent.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

A sign-and-trade swap of the centers, which has been mentioned in Mavs front-office offseason brainstorming sessions, would make a lot of sense for all of the involved parties.

Dallas would insist that the Clippers also take reserve point guard Raymond Felton

This probably won’t happen because of the complexity. Four parties – Jordan, Chandler, Mavericks and Clippers – would have to agree.

But – if Jordan wants to sign with Dallas – it’s at least possible.

Why Jordan agrees: He’d get the same money as if he signed with the Mavericks directly. But this way, Jordan helps the Mavericks avoid clearing enough cap space to sign him, which makes it a little easier for them to build a strong supporting cast.

Why Chandler agrees: He had success with Chris Paul in New Orleans, and they’d reunite on a good team in his hometown. There might not be a better destination for Chandler, including Dallas. Paul, Chandler and David West worked well together. Imagine that trio with Blake Griffin instead of West.

Why the Mavericks agree: They’d unload Felton, whose contract is a burden. As a bonus, they’d be helping Jordan, a player the seem to like.

Why the Clippers agree: This would be their best option to replace Jordan. They won’t have cap space if he leaves, and this team is built to win now. Chandler is a downgrade, but the alternative downgrades are much steeper. Felton is a small price to pay for avoiding other routes for finding a new center.

Stephen Curry, LeBron James unanimous choices, lead All-NBA First Team

Stephen Curry

This is bigger than the All-Star Game for a lot of players. Because it’s more exclusive.

Only six guards, six forwards and three centers get to make the All-NBA team, it is the cream that has risen to the top of the NBA.

No shock, LeBron James and freshly-minted MVP Stephen Curry were unanimous choices to make the first team — if you put together a ballot and they’re not on it you’re doing it wrong. This is also the first First Team vote for Anthony Davis, who earned this spot based on his historic season and carrying the Pelicans to the playoffs.

No Hawks made the list — the team ball concepts can hurt come time for individual awards. Fair or not.

Here is the full list. The two forwards are listed first, followed by the center, then the two guards. After the players team is the number of first team votes (in parenthesis) and total points.


LeBron James, Cleveland (129) 645
Anthony Davis, New Orleans (119) 625
Marc Gasol, Memphis (65) 453
Stephen Curry, Golden State (129) 645
James Harden, Houston (125) 637


LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland (13) 390
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento (18) 220
Pau Gasol, Chicago (15) 242
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City (10) 397
Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers (1) 335


Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers (2) 189
Tim Duncan, San Antonio (6) 167
DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers (12) 175
Klay Thompson, Golden State 122
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland 112

Other players receiving votes, with point totals (First Team votes in parentheses): Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio, 155; Paul Millsap, Atlanta, 70; Al Horford, Atlanta, 64 (1); John Wall, Washington, 50; Jimmy Butler, Chicago, 32; Damian Lillard, Portland, 22; Draymond Green, Golden State, 9; Zach Randolph, Memphis, 7; Jeff Teague, Atlanta, 7; Andrew Bogut, Golden State, 6; Nikola Vucevic, Orlando, 6; DeMar DeRozan, Toronto, 3; Rudy Gay, Sacramento, 3; Andre Drummond, Detroit, 2; Gordon Hayward, Utah, 2; Kyle Korver, Atlanta, 2; Joakim Noah, Chicago, 2; Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas, 2; Dwyane Wade, Miami, 2; Carmelo Anthony, New York, 1; Tyson Chandler, Dallas, 1; Mike Conley, Memphis, 1; Brook Lopez, Brooklyn, 1; Kevin Love, Cleveland, 1; Kyle Lowry, Toronto, 1; Khris Middleton, Milwaukee, 1.