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Doc Rivers wants Clippers to be more aggressive in preseason

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Only days after an embarrassing showing against the Golden State Warriors, L.A. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said he wants his team to be more competitive on the floor.

The comments came prior to their Wednesday matchup against the Toronto Raptors, where they came away victorious 104-98.

“It’s tough because you want your whole team to be competitive. But what if one of your key guys is not that night? Does that affect your whole team? It does,” Rivers told Dan Woike of the Orange County Register. “You go game by game. You know it when you see it. I don’t know, that’s up for everybody else’s eyes to figure out. … There are certain things, I think you should always be competitive if you’re on the floor in things that you do.”

While one could argue that the minutes restriction the starters were on against the Warriors had much to do with it, the Clippers failed to show effort in both ends, getting outscored 71-33 in the first half. Sure, the starters were 5-for-20 from the floor, which could be considered a sluggish night, but they also allowed the Warriors starters to shoot at a 62% clip, which showed poor discipline and effort on the defensive end.

During Wednesday’s game, the Clippers were certainly more competitive, and played with a better motor — scoring and defending with more precision.

“They are not robots,” Rivers said. “And so, they’re going to have nights where they blow someone out. You don’t coach differently that next game. There are going to be nights where you get your butt kicked.”

Raptors coach Dwane Casey echoed Rivers’ sentiments. He feels his team can’t afford to have competitive lapses either, whether it is in the preseason or not.

“Every time we walk into practice, all this bull ‘I’m saving myself for the regular season,’ for what?” Casey said. “For a young team, we’re trying to grow… We have to take every opportunity to create winning habits. Whether it’s in drills, in scrimmages or exhibition games, we’ve got to create those habits. We’re not in a place where we can come out (like), ‘This is just exhibition; we can go through the motions.’”

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