LOS ANGELES — In additional than twenty years of teaching, Doc Rivers says he is by no means had a staff the place its two greatest gamers have but to observe along with the beginning unit 21 video games into the season.
But although Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are nonetheless ready for that observe to occur, the LA Clippers are placing up staggering offensive numbers that the franchise has by no means seen. For the second time this season, the Clippers scored 150 factors at residence, this time demolishing the Washington Wizards on Sunday night time 150-125.
Not unhealthy contemplating the Clippers solely reached 150 factors in a recreation simply as soon as earlier than in franchise historical past previous to this season after they scored 152 factors in opposition to the Toronto Raptors in 1998.
“I [still] assume it should take time, simply studying one another, taking part in in these video games,” Leonard stated of the Clippers having loads of room to get higher. “We’re nonetheless up and down, generally our offense is stagnant … or doing early fast photographs with out transferring the ball.”
“However we might be particular.”
Rivers stated he was thrilled with the Clippers enhancing to 15-6 regardless of the very fact he has had George and Leonard play collectively in solely six video games this season.
“I do not know what number of years I’ve coached, 20 perhaps, however I’ve by no means had the place my greatest two gamers going into recreation 21 have but to have a observe collectively on the ground — not one,” Rivers stated earlier than the win of not having the ability to maintain many practices as a result of schedule and wanting to maintain his veterans contemporary. “They’ve had one observe the place they’re opposing [each other in practice], however they’ve but to be in the identical lineup and have a observe.
“I do not assume I’ve ever even heard of that. And but that is us proper now. I feel we have had three shootarounds with this group.”
And nonetheless, the Clippers joined the Houston Rockets as the one groups to attain 150 factors twice this season. Each the Rockets and Clippers reached these marks in opposition to the identical groups — the Atlanta Hawks and Wizards.
The Clippers did nearly all of their harm in opposition to Washington with 4 gamers on offense. Leonard led simply 4 Clippers in double-digits with 34 factors. George scored 31 whereas Lou Williams had 22 factors and Montrezl Harrell had 23 factors and 15 rebounds off the bench.
This was solely the fifth time in NBA historical past that a staff scored 150 factors with simply 4 gamers reaching 10 factors and it was the primary time for the reason that Seattle SuperSonics did so in November 1989 based on the Elias Sports activities Bureau.
George bounced again from his worst recreation as a Clipper, scoring 27 factors within the first half in opposition to Washington after going 2-for-11 and scoring 5 factors with 5 turnovers in a loss at San Antonio final Friday.
Subsequent up for the Clippers is a house recreation in opposition to Portland on Tuesday when George is reunited with former Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder teammate Carmelo Anthony.
“I imply it is nice,” George stated of Anthony, who’s averaging 17.7 factors and 6.zero rebounds in six video games since becoming a member of the Blazers. “I simply hate how [his] first recreation, Melo got here again, the entire media was [focused on] his plus-minus was this and him being on the ground, Portland generated this and now he is taking part in effectively and the media is [pointing out how] three video games straight the place he did this.
“I simply hate the narratives that is created by him being again,” George added about critics targeted on Anthony’s fashion of play. “Melo has been a terrific participant, he’ll be a terrific participant, he is taking part in terrific from begin to end and shout out to Portland for opening that door again up for Melo and prolonging his profession.”
Leonard stated he’s blissful to see Anthony again and that he felt the previous All-Star ahead was unfairly held out of the league.
“He is ready to get a chance and get an opportunity to go on the market and just about be himself,” Leonard stated. “I am simply blissful for him that he was in a position to get again within the NBA. It’s well-deserved. I do not assume he was handled the appropriate means, how they left him on the market being a future Corridor of Famer.
“As you may see he is nonetheless working up and down the ground, so he is nonetheless acquired a variety of basketball left in him. It is going to be a enjoyable matchup for us.”