LA Clippers perplexing to tighten opening with Golden State Warriors



Clippers manager Doc Rivers is realistic.

He knows what’s been function with a Golden State Warriors, who have been vehement this deteriorate while posting a record of 48-4 brazen of their games Friday night during Portland and Saturday night opposite a Clippers during 5:30 during Staples Center (on ABC).

The Warriors won a NBA pretension a deteriorate ago. Now they’re on gait to get a many victories in a singular season. That stands during 72, finished by a Chicago Bulls in 1995-96.

This is not good news for a Clippers, who could play a Warriors in a second turn of a playoffs. If a Clippers finish fourth in a Western Conference and Golden State takes first, that would be a unfolding presumption both teams win in a initial round.

Since a Clippers have never gotten past a second turn in authorization history, a contingency of them removing over that mound this deteriorate cringe dramatically in that case.

The Clippers done a trade during Thursday’s deadline that could assist them. They shipped guard/forward Lance Stephenson and a destiny breeze collect to a Memphis Grizzlies for brazen Jeff Green, who played for Clippers manager Doc Rivers during Boston.

Green was averaging 12.2 points and 4.5 rebounds for Memphis, and a 29-year-old has averaged 14.1 points and 5.0 rebounds over his eight-year career.

Does this tighten a opening between a Clippers (36-18) and Warriors?

“Well, we don’t consider anyone has sealed a opening on Golden State, or San Antonio, even nonetheless we usually won,” Rivers pronounced late Thursday after his group degraded a San Antonio Spurs 105-86 during Staples Center. “We have a lot of work to do. But we wish to usually stay in a argument. And when we get to one of those teams, we’ll find that out.

“But right now, Golden State’s a best group in a NBA. we don’t consider it’s even tighten and so we have to try to locate them.”

The Spurs (45-9) are No. 2 in a West, Oklahoma City (40-14) is No. 3, the Clippers No. 4.

The same doubt was put to core DeAndre Jordan.

“Nah,” he said. “Jeff’s a good player, we are unequivocally propitious to have him. But we’ve still got a prolonged approach to go. They (the Warriors) are proven, we’ve still got things to urge on and we’ve usually gotta continue to get better.”

Assistant manager Mike Woodson chimed in.

“We’d like to consider so, though usually time will tell,” he pronounced Friday during practice. “We’ll see them tomorrow night. And we consider we’ve played those guys flattering well. We usually haven’t sealed a games out.”

The Clippers mislaid to Golden State twice in Nov — by 4 and 7 points — and led both times entering a fourth quarter.

Rivers coached Green for tools of dual seasons in Boston. To Rivers, a 6-foot-9 Green meets a Clippers’ needs.

“I unequivocally wanted some-more length,” Rivers said. “When we demeanour during a teams we have to beat, we need to get longer, some-more jaunty and we need to boost a shooting, and we consider with Jeff we did all 3 of those things.”

Green can be that instant-offense guy. He scored a season-high 30 points on 11-of-18 sharpened opposite Orlando on Jan. 25. Five nights later, he had 29 points, sharpened 11 of 16 opposite Sacramento.

But Green this deteriorate is sharpened usually 30.9 percent (42 of 136) from over a arc; his career commission is 34.0. Moreover, a scouting news on Green is he can be a defensive guilt during times. If he doesn’t grasp that on a group whose invulnerability has improved, that could be an issue.

Green is looking brazen to a challenge.

“I’m a versatile man who can play mixed positions and do mixed things on a floor,” he pronounced before practicing for a initial time with a Clippers. “So I’m flattering certain Doc is going to put me in positions where we can attain and where we can helps this group out.”

Being informed with Rivers and his complement is a plus, Green said.

“Having played a dual years with Doc and meaningful what he wants, what he expects out of his players, is big,” pronounced Green, who missed a 2011-12 deteriorate to have heart medicine to correct an aortic aneurysm.

Sixth-man Jamal Crawford echoed that sentiment.

“He’ll substantially strike a belligerent using faster than many guys would traded in mid-season,” he said.

There is no word nonetheless on if and when Green will get into a starting lineup. But he has started some-more than not during his career — he started 31 of 53 games with Memphis — so it won’t be startling to see that happen.

The Clippers have left 19-5 given Blake Griffin went out with a partially ripped quad tendon. Griffin’s fractured right palm — destitute on a face of group apparatus staffer Matias Testi — will keep him out until someday in March.

Once Griffin returns, that competence be a genuine test, generally if a Clippers continue to win like they have but him.

Can Rivers make it all filigree together?

As Woodson said, time will tell.

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