Report: Multiple Clippers players don’t feel team practices as hard or as seriously as it should
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers’ teams don’t practice often, which is a principle he adopted when he was with the Boston Celtics:
This is part of a larger systemic issue for the team. Rivers’ teams don’t practice often, which is a principle he adopted in Boston.
Rivers understands the grind of an 82-game season, and is willing to concede practice time if it means his players will stay healthier and play harder in games. As Rivers has joked all season, he was one of the early pioneers of load management.
But that, combined with the team’s constant injuries, the front-loaded schedule and Leonard’s injury management, has created a lighter mood and approach to practices. Multiple players, according to league sources, don’t feel the team practices as hard or as seriously as it should at this point in the season.
The Clippers, after losing to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, are now 31-14 on the season. They are in third place in the Western Conference standings and an impressive 7-3 over their last 10 games.
The Clippers want to make sure stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are fresh and healthy for the playoffs. That means Leonard is going to be “load managed” for the remainder of the regular season and we may see the two-time Finals MVP, along with George, sit out a few practices here and there.
Leonard and George didn’t play for the Clippers on Wednesday against the Hawks. LA was just resting Leonard since it was the second night of a back-to-back, while George is still nursing a hamstring injury.