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CLIPPERS FYI

Celtics impressed by Blake Griffin

Doc Rivers says the Clippers rookie is just going to keep getting better.

March 09, 2011|By Lisa Dillman
  • Clippers forward Blake Griffin, right, tries to work his way past Boston forward Jeff Green during the second half of the Clippers' 108-103 victory Wednesday.
Clippers forward Blake Griffin, right, tries to work his way past Boston… (Mark L. Baer / U.S. Presswire )

Reporting from Boston — Basketball … sure. Everyone knows what Blake Griffin is capable of doing on the court. Or at the hoop.

Celtics Coach Doc Rivers got a closer look at the prized Clippers rookie during All-Star weekend and signaled his approval of the way the power forward operates.

As is the custom now, every opposing coach is asked at least one question about Griffin before any Clippers game and it was no different here Wednesday.

"He's just going to keep getting better," Rivers said. "And, by the way, just from the All-Star weekend I was actually more impressed with him, forget the basketball part. He seems like a solid kid. For us coaches, whenever you see that, it's real nice."

Back to basketball.

"You try not to let him behind you defensively in transition and your pick-and-roll coverage and your post play," Rivers said. "You don't want to overplay him. … In some ways you guard him a lot like Dwight [Howard]. You've got to try to make him make shots over the top of you, which he is capable of but at least you're controlling the type of shots he gets."

Rivers was asked if Griffin's athleticism outshined his skill set.

"Yeah, but it would with anyone," he said. "I think if Ray [Allen] was that athletic you wouldn't talk about his shooting as much. He's that athletic. It's amazing."

Speaking of Allen, he too had a few things to say about Griffin.

"He's definitely proven himself to be a man amongst boys," Allen said. "I think a lot of people thought that he was injured, he wouldn't be as good as he would otherwise. He came out this year and showed a lot of people he can be one of the best players, if not the best player in the future, in the NBA."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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