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Doc Rivers looking forward to Clippers having a target on their back

Doc Rivers, Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers knows other NBA teams are coming for his squad.

The Clippers flipped their team in the offseason, acquiring All-Star forwards Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. The LA franchise also re-signed defensive stalwart guard Patrick Beverley and have rising big men Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell in the frontcourt.

In spite of a potential seismic shift happening in the league, Rivers is glad to have a target on the Clippers’ collective back.

Per Gary Washburn in The Boston Globe:

“It’s great [to have a target on the back] for this team. It’s exhausting for a championship team because it usually happens to a team that’s won already,” he said. “In 2008, it was really Detroit who we [the Celtics] had targeted and then the Lakers we had targeted. Last year, it was Golden State clearly that everybody was trying to be, and this year it’s kind of open because the team that won it in Toronto, their best player left.

“So it’s open. It’s us. It’s the Lakers. It’s Golden State. It’s Boston. It’s a bunch of teams. We clearly are one that teams will target.

“We haven’t played since the middle of May, but teams are going to try to come after us. I think that’s a good thing. I think we need that. It will teach us hopefully every night you have to be ready. In the long run, if we can get through it, it will prepare us for the march. If we can’t get through it, we won’t get there anyway.”

Rivers and the Clippers finished 48-34 last season and lost in six games in the first round of the 2019 playoffs to the eventual conference champion Golden State Warriors. This time around, though, the Clips are in the conversation ahead of the start of the season in the fall as a title contender.