Coach Doc Rivers enjoying Clippers’ defensive trend

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first_imgClippers coach Doc Rivers was still raving about the defensive effort his team gave in its 112-91 victory over Denver on Saturday.But even more impressive to Rivers was it represented the fourth consecutive game the Clippers held an opponent to fewer than 100 points in a game.“I do like the trend,” Rivers said. “I think we’ve been trending that way for a while defensively and it’s nice. My belief is you can play defense every night, offense you can try to play every night but it might not work out for you. You can miss open shots and just have a bad night, but your defense should always be there. At least the effort.”It’s not just at one end of the court, either. The Clippers limited Denver to six fast-break points in addition to the Nuggets’ 35.7 percent shooting from the field. Recently, the talk of the Clippers’ defense has started with the almost fanatical way Jordan has embraced his role as the defensive captain.“It starts with our bigs. DJ and Blake (Griffin) have been amazing,” Rivers said. “DJ’s leadership defensively – It’s funny, he’s mad the most on defense now, which I love because he takes it so personal when anybody scores.“Earlier in the year I thought he took it personally when his guy scored. Now he’s taking it personal if a guy’s making a 3 on the opposite side of the floor.“That’s what you need to take scoring personal and I think our guys are starting to do that.”Chirp chirpRivers was asked if the Clippers were the type of the team that could get under the skin of the other team on the court.“I noticed that last year. We probably talk,” Rivers said, “I don’t know what the hell’s going on out there. I really don’t.“We’ve just got to keep playing. I hate when we get distracted by it. I think we’re getting better but that’s an area we still have to improve in. We’re getting better also at leaving the officials alone and playing. We still have to get better there.”As if to prove that point, less than two minutes into the second quarter Jordan picked up his third foul. And a technical foul.Less than five minutes later, Rivers picked up a technical of his own. “We’ve had the effort in my opinion all year. We just weren’t in the right places all year and now we’re starting to get to the right places, the right spaces, and our talk defensively has been phenomenal. Our weak side defense has been improving. “Last night was one of our better nights because Denver runs. Against them that’s saying a lot . We’re starting to obey our rules, which is nice.”Opponents are noticing too. It didn’t surprise Minnesota coach Rick Adelman.“They certainly had the tools to do that,” Adelman said. “They had the size with (DeAndre) Jordan, and they’re active, and Chris (Paul) has always been one of the better point guards defensively too. It’s just something that as they play more under Doc, they’ll continue to get better defensively.”It’s personal nowcenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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