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Clippers Coach Doc Rivers picks up where he left off in Boston

Rivers reviews tape on flight home from Portland, Ore., after the first exhibition game. He says players have bought into the system but it is their timing that needs the most work.

October 08, 2013|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers Coach Doc Rivers says some of his players made mistakes during L.A.'s 89-81 victory over Portland, but the team played with "the right spirit on offense."
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers says some of his players made mistakes during… (Don Ryan / Associated Press )

It wasn't long after the Clippers had boarded their flight from Portland, Ore., to Los Angeles that Coach Doc Rivers began reviewing the tape from his team's first exhibition game against the Trail Blazers on Monday night.

Even though his team won, 89-81, in Rivers' debut with the Clippers, a coach's work is never done.

It was the way Rivers operated when he was the successful coach of Boston, helping to lead the Celtics to the 2008 NBA championship and the NBA Finals in 2010.

Rivers was brought in to succeed Vinny Del Negro and he was also named as the Clippers' senior vice president of basketball operations, giving him the power to shape the Clippers in the way he sees fit.

"We just have to keep working defensively and offensively," Rivers said before practice Tuesday afternoon. "Offensively, I'm not that concerned. It's just timing. We don't have half of our stuff in.

"I honestly just liked the effort and the buy-in [of his coaching plans]. That's the first step. Everything else follows."

But the game tape did give him enough information so his Clippers had more than enough to work on.

They won't have to wait long to put that practice to work because the Clippers are having an intra-squad scrimmage Wednesday evening for season-ticket holders at the Galen Center.

"Guys made mistakes.... Film doesn't lie, and then you try to correct some of those," Rivers said. "Some of them were just timing things on offense. I thought we played with the right spirit on offense and that's all you can hope for."

Injury update

Shooting guard, J.J. Redick didn't play at Portland because of a bruised left quad and he didn't practice Tuesday. And small forward Matt Barnes also didn't play in Monday's exhibition because of a sore left calf and he didn't practice Tuesday.

Coaching style

During Monday's game, Rivers' demeanor on the court was the same as he was in Boston.

When he called a timeout, Rivers made sure to make eye contact with his players, he talked to the officials, then gathered with his coaching staff in the huddle before he sent the players back on the court.

"We're just trying to get them to see that your [effort on] defense has to be all the time," Rivers said. "Your offense is going to fail you at times. You're going to miss wide-open shots. You can't control that. But you can control your emotions when you miss it. I thought we did a pretty good job of that."

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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