Doc Rivers knows it won’t be easy for LA Clippers

first_imgCoach Doc Rivers knows what he’s up against.“We know it’s going to be hard,” Rivers said. “We knew that when he got injured.”Griffin originally was out with a partially torn left quad tendon; he hasn’t played since Christmas.“We’re doing well right now,” Rivers said. “We know that it’s hard to keep doing this. We understand that. But our guys, all we can keep doing every night is lace ‘em up and try to win that game.”The trick is taking it one game at a time, Rivers said. “Whenever we have things like this, we try to turn it into single games,” he said. “Whereas before, when you have your team whole, you do blocks of games. You know, ‘Let’s do this.’“Well, once a key guy to your team gets injured, the blocks are done. You go to each game and you try to make that game the most important game until the next game.”That next game is Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center.Stephenson shinesWhen Lance Stephenson was acquired during the off-season, hopes were high for him bringing a lot to the team. At times, he has. But he hasn’t done well enough for Rivers to keep him in his regular rotation, so it’s been a hit-and-miss situation.Stephenson was a hit in Friday’s 105-93 victory over the Lakers. He scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting and also had five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot in 22 1/2 minutes off the bench.Stephenson had an incredible dunk over Lakers power forward Julius Randle midway through the fourth quarter that brought the house down. Interestingly, Stephenson was the backup power forward in this game, a position the 6-foot-5 shooting guard/small forward had never played.“Lance is great,” Rivers said. “He played with great energy. He had never played the 4. Every night we ask someone to play a different position and they are starting to like it. They laugh about it. Lance is guarding Randle (who is 6-foot-9). They think it is funny, I do not think it is that funny, actually, but it is working for us.“It is energy that they (the reserves) are all bringing when they come in. I like his (Stephenson’s) spirit.”Stephenson’s energy is never-ending. And he’s always smiling, like he’s having more fun than anyone else.“I come in early and meet with the coaches,” he said. “Of course, I go on the treadmill and stay in shape. I just try to be ready and learn as much as possible.”Scouting the BullsChicago is 3-4 in its past seven games and is coming off a 114-91 victory over the Lakers on Thursday. The Bulls (26-19) are led by All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler (22.4 points per game), center Pau Gasol (16.7 points, 10.7 rebounds) and point guard Derrick Rose (15.3 points, 4.5 assists).The Bulls beat the Clippers 83-80 on Dec. 10 in Chicago. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img It stands to reason that at some point, the absence of Blake Griffin will turn into a negative for the Clippers, since he is arguably the team’s best player.So far, the Clippers have performed admirably, going 14-3 without him.But Griffin’s fractured right hand — an injury sustained when he punched team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Jan. 23 in Toronto — will likely keep him out at least another month. Then there is any suspension he might receive for the incident.Since Griffin has already missed over a month, the Clippers figure to be without him a total of two months — and probably a bit longer. last_img

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