Doc Rivers: Title Hopes Lay on Blake, DeAndre
As Doc Rivers sat before the media and talked about championship expectations on Monday, he singled out Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, the only two players on the team who remember when the Clippers were the doormats, instead of the darlings, of the league.
“One guy that has stood out to me is Blake,” Rivers said. “Just sitting in my office up there and looking down on him and watching him work. I knew he was a worker. I didn’t know he was the worker to the extent that he’s worked this summer. He’s put in a lot of time. I’ve been impressed with his scheduling. He does a lot of stuff, and nothing gets in the way of his basketball, and that shows me a great sign of maturity.”
Another player that must take his game to the next level for the Clippers to have success in the postseason is Jordan, who shot just 38.6 percent from the free-throw line during the season and 22.2 percent from the line in the playoffs. Rivers believes Jordan will not only improve at the free-throw line but become an elite defender this season.
“I think he’s huge for us. I think he will be consistent,” Rivers said. “I’m looking at DeAndre Jordan as an all-defensive player. I think he should be on the all-defensive team. I think he should be a candidate to win the defensive player of the year award. It’s going to require consistency for him to do that. We need him to be the captain of our defense. I’m putting a lot on his plate. All the other stuff will take care of itself.”