Paul, Clippers look to make postseason move
by David Leon Moore, USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES – Doc Rivers isn’t one to mince words, not even with a 28-year-old six-time All-Star.
“You’re always looking for someone to push you, and at our first meeting, he pretty much told me, ‘You’re nothing. You haven’t accomplished anything in this league,’” Chris Paul said of Rivers, his new coach, on Monday. “And he’s right.”
Well, sort of.
Paul has established himself as perhaps the best point guard of his generation, a perennial All-Star, an elite performer.
But he has not established himself as a postseason winner.
That’s what this season is all about for the Los Angeles Clippers as they welcome Rivers as their new coach and try to ride Paul, forward Blake Griffin, center DeAndre Jordan and perhaps the best bench in the league to an NBA championship.
Last year the Clippers, led by Paul’s leadership and clutch play, won a franchise-record 56 games in the regular season. But they lost a first-round playoff series to the Memphis Grizzlies.
It was Paul’s fifth time in the playoffs – three times with the New Orleans Hornets, twice with the Clippers — and the fifth time he failed to advance past the second round.
The first-round failure cost coach Vinny Del Negro his job.
Now Rivers, the former point guard who coached the Boston Celtics to a championship, and Paul, who would seem to be a perfect on-and-off-the-court leader on a championship team, are joined with a common cause – bring the once-woebegone Clippers to championship level.
The loudness of the hype is new to the Clippers. How will they handle it?
“For us, it’s going to be all about the process,” Paul said. “We can’t control what people are saying, the hype, the expectations, the good things people say, the bad things people say.
“For us, it’s going to be about the guys in our locker room. It’s about coming into practice each and every day giving ourselves the opportunity to win. That’s what you … [For more on Chris Paul, Clippers looking to make postseason move, click here.]