Doc Rivers has been known as a coach that values tough defense quite highly. As a matter of fact, he won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008 preaching a defensive minded system that eventually earned Tom Thibodeau a head coaching gig for the Chicago Bulls. When Doc sat down to look over his new team’s defense, he was relatively pleased with what he saw. Eric Patton from the NBA.com had the story.
Rivers has insisted all week that the Clippers were not a poor defensive team last season. They led the NBA in steals, held opponents to 94.6 points per game and forced a league-high 15.4 turnovers. But the team’s struggles against the 3-point shot (37.3 percent from opponents, 26th in the league) and trouble in transition defense were both areas that Rivers and his staff have emphasized since the onset of camp Tuesday.
With Blake Griffin already announcing that ‘Lob City’ is over for the Clippers, I can see them adopting a new mantra that is defensive based. Presumably Rivers left his ‘ubuntu’ chant in Boston, opening the door for some new foreign word that will fire his team up to play the defense that his system requires. If they are able to play tough defense it will open the door for a lethal transition game with Chris Paul running the point and Blake Griffin running the wing. If you thought that Rajon Rondo was lethal on the break, just wait to see what Paul can do.