LA Clippers in need of better defense, rebounding

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Prior to Saturday’s 101-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons, coach Doc Rivers was asked a two-part question: What does he think of the Jamie Foxx most impersonation of him floating around? And what does he think about the Clippers’ rebounding woes?“I like it, I thought it was funny,” he said of Foxx’s theatrics. “But I don’t think the rebounds are funny, let me put it that way. We’re not doing a great job. And I think it’s all of us. I don’t think it’s like the bigs. I think the guards are … we have to rebound as a team so much better.“We’re just going to get the ball, we’re not putting bodies on bodies.”Blake Griffin’s rebounding numbers are back up where they belong. He’s averaging 9.5 after falling to 7.8 last season. DeAndre Jordan, who led the league a season ago with a 15.0 average, is down to 12.9 this season.The difference is in his offensive rebounding, where he’s pulling down just 2.7 after being at 4.8 in 2014-15. Defense and rebounding. Last season the Clippers struggled to find consistency in those areas.And they are again this season.Starting with the rebounding, the Clippers in averaged 42.6 rebounds last year, tying Memphis for 20th in the league. They allowed 42.9 rebounds per game, for a differential of minus-0.3.This season, the Clippers (6-4) are pulling down an average of 42.5 rebounds, 22nd in the league. But they are giving up 46.9. That’s a differential of minus-4.4, and only five teams were worse before games played Monday.center_img “Yeah, they’re game-planning for him,” Rivers said. “It’s what you do. He didn’t get it a lot last year, but he’s getting double-teamed on rebounds, you could see it all the time and it’s two on the ball, two on DJ.”Defense about desireWesley Johnson played 13 minutes off the bench Saturday. He didn’t score, but he made his defensive contribution with two steals. After the Clippers turned the game around with better defense in the second half — allowing only 36 points after giving up 60 in the first half — Johnson talked about what it takes to be a stingy team.“Defense is all about you wanting it,” he said. “You wanting to stop your man, you wanting to help your teammate. I think that is what it boils down to. You would probably look at the roster and think that we don’t have a defensive stopper, but it is a team thing and a team effort.”The Clippers last season allowed 100.1 points per game, 16th in the league. They scored 106.7, a differential of plus-6.6, second only to Golden State’s 10.1. This season, the Clippers are allowing 104.2 points, 24th in the league. They are scoring 105.1 per game, a differential of just plus-0.9.Injury updatesStarting guards Chris Paul (groin strain) and J.J. Redick (back spasms) are listed as doubtful and out, respectively, for Thursday’s game against Golden State at Staples Center.Neither has played the past two games.last_img

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