Duke are their favorites and their season will hinge on the play of Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, while Louisville, North Carolina and Virginia will challenge. Read More. Written by Dan Hanner on Jul 21, 2014
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs important for him [Griffin] to take them [jump shots], especially in this environment, in this atmosphere. Because it will help him, just the confidence from taking shots will help him on the free throw line as well; just having the threat. I can remember, Charles Barkley, at one point in his career used to get the ball off the glass, go coast-to-coast, one leg, two-hand dunks. Karl Malone, everything was inside, but later on their careers they started to establish a perimeter shot. I think if Blake could try to establish that earlier in his career, not only will he make himself better, but make his team better.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIt just takes time. He‚Äôs great at being an athlete. He understands the game and he understands what he needs to do. He‚Äôll be a Hall of Famer one day.‚ÄĚ
On playing with Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups after lining up against them for most of his career:
‚ÄúYou know, I used to hate Chris Paul, but now I love him. I used to hate playing against Chauncey Billups. I remember one game we were playing against him, he hit like 10 threes in the second half or something like that, but when we went to the World Championships [in 2010] I loved him. You know, those relationships don‚Äôt carry on off the court that‚Äôs the beautiful thing about the league.‚ÄĚ
On what made Paul get under his skin as opponent:
‚ÄúThe way he competes. He was what we would call an ‚ÄėM-Fer.‚Äô If the ball was on the floor, he‚Äôd be diving, kicking, scratching, whatever he needs to do to win. Those are the guys you‚Ä¶hate ‚Äėem.‚ÄĚ
#50 Re: Media Day Friday 9/28, Training Camp begi Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:41 pm by mkwest
Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan work on their range
To shore up this problem, the Clippers hired renowned shooting coach Bob Thate, who has been working with Griffin and Jordan since June. Thate was the New Jersey Nets‚Äô shooting coach from 2005 to 2008 and has worked with Jason Kidd and Vince Carter.
The first thing Thate did was breakdown both players‚Äô shooting form before building it back up, which wasn‚Äôt an easy process.
‚ÄúThe first couple of weeks I didn‚Äôt like it at all,‚ÄĚ Jordan said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm going to be honest with you. I didn‚Äôt like it because I was too cramped in shooting the ball. But when he recorded it and I saw it, it looked like a good shot.
‚ÄúBefore when I would shoot the ball, I really didn‚Äôt have control of the ball. I thought I did, but he broke it down. The first two weeks I was taking the ball and putting it on my forehead just to get used to it. Now I‚Äôve put everything together and I‚Äôm working with him every day.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúA lot of times when I would shoot I would fade back a little bit unnecessarily and sometimes I would hang and keep the ball up high for a while and we‚Äôve pretty much gotten rid of all that,‚ÄĚ Griffin said. ‚ÄúNow it‚Äôs a matter of getting reps and shooting the same way every single time.‚ÄĚ
Jordan also worked out with Clippers assistant coach Marc Iavaroni most of the summer on developing a more refined post game.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve worked on go-to moves and got as many reps as possible,‚ÄĚ Jordan said. ‚ÄúLeft-hand jumper, right-hand jumpers, counter moves. I really wanted to work on that just in case if I got the ball in the post. I really wanted to be a force in there for us this year.‚ÄĚ
The team spent a majority of Saturday evening working on defense with players constantly talking and clapping up hustle plays. The same energy carried over to Sunday morning when they broke into small groups and rotated between three defensive drilling stations.
The most positive sign thus far, according to Griffin has been the level of communication between defenders.
‚ÄúWe had trouble at times [last season] communicating on rotations,‚ÄĚ Griffin said Sunday. ‚ÄúThe best part about this [year] is we‚Äôre having a full training camp to really get this down and not just two weeks or whatever it was last year.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got to work through a lot of stuff,‚ÄĚ Del Negro said. ‚ÄúMixing different lineups in, trying to see who works well together, and the chemistry, and just kind of building a foundation for what we want to do at both ends of the court.‚ÄĚ
Bledsoe will likely start at point guard in Paul‚Äôs absence, with former Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford, Hill, and Barnes all vying for playing time next to him. It helps that Crawford is more than capable of shifting down to play the point, and that starting small forward Caron Butler could also play shooting guard in certain situations.
Del Negro has said on several occasions that the team‚Äôs depth, and potential fight for playing time, is a ‚Äúgood problem to have.‚ÄĚ
#51 Re: Media Day Friday 9/28, Training Camp begi Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:22 pm by playaloc916
Good to hear that DJ has been making improvements. He's had a lot of time to improve, so this year I hope we see dramatic improvement. He just needs to stick to his go to moves and keeps getting his reps in and he should be fine. But again, his most important role is to be the defensive anchor of the team. As long as he's doing that job, any sort of offense is an added bonus.
And I'm also really excited about this season too. I thought we had depth last year, but it was a bit lopsided due to having a lot of similar type players (ie undersized guards and undersized centers). Now we have more prototypical players, so the depth is even better than last year.
#52 Re: Media Day Friday 9/28, Training Camp begi Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:07 pm by mkwest
This season, Griffin will have even more of a shooting interest
"It's not one of those things where people are going to be like, 'Oh, wow, it's completely different,'" Griffin said. "For me, it's much more compact than it was. I feel like there's less chance for error. But, still, I've got a lot more work to go."
He worked so hard to score down low, taking a physical pounding in the process.
A mid-range jumper, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said, will give Griffin another weapon.
"Well, it opens up everything," Del Negro said. "Not only for him, but for everyone. There is the spacing factor and he doesn't have to take as much pounding."
But there is a more important factor for Griffin.
"I think his confidence is better," Del Negro said. "But it's not going to happen overnight. It's going to take some time. Everybody wants it now. But there's a process involved. He's putting in all the time and effort he can. You're going to see some more consistency there and improvement."
Grant Hill would be hard-pressed to be caught off guard on the basketball court.
The 17-year veteran and two-time NCAA champion has been through practically any situation imaginable, so on Monday morning when Hill said the two most surprising players thus far in camp were youngsters Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan, the comment carried some weight.
‚ÄúI really like Bledsoe,‚ÄĚ Hill said following the first of two practices Monday. ‚ÄúI think his ability to attack the screen-and-roll. I think his decision making, we all know he‚Äôs a great athlete, but he looks like he‚Äôs put a lot of time in working on that this offseason.
‚ÄúDeAndre, I didn‚Äôt realize he could post like that, but he‚Äôs really been catching the ball in the post, being really decisive, making really powerful moves, the right read. I didn‚Äôt recall him posting a lot last year, but it looks like he‚Äôs worked a lot at that and he‚Äôs confident and the team has confidence in him.‚ÄĚ
Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro sees Hill as an integral part of that.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs been very healthy and we‚Äôve just got to manage his minutes,‚ÄĚ Del Negro said. ‚ÄúHe is just such a valuable, versatile player. He‚Äôs a winner.‚ÄĚ
After spending the previous five seasons with the Suns, the 39-year-old Hill now finds himself as a somewhat of a new kid.
‚ÄúThe guys who have been here have been really good to us new guys, so it‚Äôs been comfortable,‚ÄĚ Hill said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve only been together for a short while, but you‚Äôre starting to get to know the guys and have fun with each other. I think that‚Äôs big, it carries over onto the court and just helps build that trust.‚ÄĚ
#55 Re: Media Day Friday 9/28, Training Camp begi Mon Oct 1, 2012 7:17 pm by mkwest
Barnes happy to be back on court
"I'm a competitor," Barnes said. "I'm looking forward to getting a chance to guard Kobe Bryant for real again instead of in practice. I wish those guys nothing but the best, but I'm happy to be here."
Before Barnes signed his one-year deal with the Clippers, he called Blake Griffin to make sure there was no lingering hard feelings from last year when Barnes pushed Griffin to the floor during a preseason game and called him a "flopper."
"I look at my teammates like my family," said Barnes, who worked out this offseason with MMA fighter John Marsh. "Like sticking up for Steve Blake two years ago when Jason Terry went at him. I look at my teammates as my family and I'll do anything for my family. That's the discussion Blake and I had when I signed here. People thought we had a beef, but we didn't have a beef. I just explained to him how I look at the game and approach the game and he understood that. I let him know that I'm his teammate now and people aren't going to take him down and getting away with it anymore."
Huge props to Vinny for this I cannot stand Arash.
DAY 3: EVENING UPDATE
The Clippers wrapped up their second two-a-day practice of training camp with a little more than an hour of work Monday evening.
They broke into positional shooting drills, which consisted of three stations spread between their two practice courts. Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, and Lamar Odom were together in one group taking a variety of jump shots from the baseline and elbow areas.
Later, the team ran through brief offensive sets, worked on defensive rotations in five-man units, and finished with free throws, per their usual routine.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre just going to build every day,‚ÄĚ Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs all got to come together. It‚Äôs great on paper, but it‚Äôs all got to come together as a team.‚ÄĚ
The Clippers are back on the practice court tomorrow morning before Wednesday‚Äôs open scrimmage at USC‚Äôs Galen Center.
#59 Re: Media Day Friday 9/28, Training Camp begi Tue Oct 2, 2012 1:51 am by kombayn
I really like what I see out of training camp right now, our roster is a HUGE upgrade from last year and Vinny seems to have everyone's backing on the team right now. I think Neil Olshey may have been a problem towards the end, BG backed-up Gary Sacks and it seems that the Clippers front-office really looked for our players opinions in roster moves. Right now, our team is deep and ready for any kind of injury and Vinny has all the pressure on him to make them win but the thing is he's winning them around, he's in the Spoelstra area because of the talent he has to work but no-one will call for Spoelstra head now that they've won and Vinny showed he still had the team after the crazy losing streak also won the series against the Grizzlies in a Game 7 on the road. I'm believing in him now after that comment to Markazi about the Lakers too. Only negative is Lamar Odom right now, I don't really expect anything out of him until the Christmas break because he's extremely out-of-shape right now.
OK then I guess it wasn't just me who thought Odom looked big. Seeing all the players at the training facility has me excited for the up coming season. We really have a talented roster and I can't wait to see us play.
I'm in support of the Clipper players and coaches. Donald Sterling BANNED FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As last season progressed, Jordan, who started 77 games for the Clippers (66 regular season, 11 postseason), was relegated to 5.5 minutes per game in the fourth quarter, including 24 occasions when he did not appear. According to both Jordan and Head Coach Vinny Del Negro, this was primarily due to Jordan‚Äôs shortcomings at the free throw line where he shot 52.5% in the regular season and 33.3% in the playoffs.
‚ÄúWhen you‚Äôre playing the top teams and you‚Äôre in the playoffs, possessions are huge,‚ÄĚ Del Negro said after Tuesday morning‚Äôs practice. ‚ÄúIf teams are going to foul us, we have to make them pay at the free throw line. And if you‚Äôre not able to knock free throws down on a consistent basis then it‚Äôs going to change things. We need DeAndre out there and Blake [Griffin] and really all of our big guys on the defensive end to control the glass and get possessions back for us.‚ÄĚ
Jordan said the addition of Assistant Coach Bob Ociepka is also making a difference.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got a new defensive coach Bobby O. He‚Äôs great and I love him,‚ÄĚ Jordan said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs teaching us some new schemes and he‚Äôs going to help us out a lot.‚ÄĚ
Still, the real game-changer could be Jordan.
‚ÄúEverybody wants to play late, everybody wants to be clutch,‚ÄĚ Jordan said. ‚ÄúI feel like my ability to play defense [can impact the game] because you have to get stops. We have a lot of scorers, but when it comes down to it you have to get stops. Free throw [shooting] was a big deal and I worked on it this summer. This year I‚Äôm feeling confident that I can play down the stretch and help us get wins.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWe expect him to be the player that he was throughout his career,‚ÄĚ Sacks said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs a guy I think can be a Sixth Man of the Year again. He‚Äôs done that and he‚Äôs versatile and he can do a lot of things on the basketball court that can help us. We didn‚Äôt have that versatility in the frontcourt last year. I expect him to be every bit as good as he‚Äôs ever been and I think he‚Äôs going the fit in with our team, with these guys perfectly.‚ÄĚThe Clippers are counting on Odom, who has one year remaining on his contract, to regain a semblance of his former self. Vice President of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks, who along with Head Coach Vinny Del Negro and President Andy Roeser helped orchestrate the deal to bring Odom back to Los Angeles, believes Odom will.
Odom expects the same. ‚ÄúPeople ask me, what Lamar are we going to get, the Lamar in Dallas or the Lamar who put like a six or seven or eight year string of consistent ball together?
‚Äú[You‚Äôre going to get] the Lamar who put the six or seven or eight year string of good ball together,‚ÄĚ Odom answered. ‚ÄúI mean, I‚Äôve played well more than I‚Äôve played bad, but people tend to remember what happened last.‚ÄĚ
Lawler, who has known Odom for more than a dozen years, added: ‚ÄúHe (Odom) will be the brightest light in the locker room. I virtually guarantee he will be the most popular player in there amongst his teammates. He‚Äôs a wonderful guy, so I was thrilled when I heard they (the Clippers) were bringing him back.‚ÄĚ
Injured Clippers guard Chauncey Billups is practicing patience
He has been excited to join Chris Paul in the backcourt with the starting team at practice during some drills and offensive sets. However, Billups has been low-key about this because he knows he isn't ready for full contact because he's not fully recovered from left Achilles' tendon surgery.
"I think if I was younger it would be tougher," said the 36-year-old Billups. "But I'm not fighting myself off at all because I know how severe this injury really was. And I'm not going to compromise all the hard work that I've put in all summer ... to get back a week earlier."
"I'm kind of at the end the last phase of my rehab, which is the explosive type of stuff," Billups said. "So I'm not quite where I need to be."
Billups said he is running full speed and cutting. He just can't explode the way he wants.
"We've got some guys that know how to play," Hill said. "It's sort of a new environment for all of us with the concepts. We've kind of seen them all before, done them all before. But, yeah, for a team that has a bunch of new faces and [reserve] unit, for the most part, us coming together for the first time, it's going better than I thought at this point."
#65 Re: Media Day Friday 9/28, Training Camp begi Tue Oct 2, 2012 8:37 pm by jflipclip
I'm liking this whole DJ progressing. I don't want to get my hopes up too high, but everything sounds good. Usually big guys that get a big contract, you don't hear this type of thing coming from them. Remember, DJ was the third guy painted on that skyscraper mural-- it means the organization invests and believes that he may play an integral part of this team's future. Looks like he's buying into it too. Let's just wait and see if it all plays out in the regular season. =]