Austin Rivers: Clippers move ball better without Blake Griffin
Austin Rivers does not believe the Los Angeles Clippers are better without Blake Griffin, but he does think the team moves the ball better without the big man.
Rivers joined “Steve Gorman Sports” on FOX Sports Radio Friday and talked about playing without Griffin, who is out healing from a broken hand suffered punching a team employee. Rivers called Griffin the team’s “best player” but said they learned to move the ball better without him.
“You’ve got to understand, because we haven’t played with Blake, our ball movement has been a lot better,” Rivers said. “I think we learned a mutual thing where it’s like ‘alright, listen Blake, since you’ve been out, we’ve learned to move the ball better, so when you come back, we’re still going to play like that. But now we have you back, we’re still going to play through you at the same time.’ So I think we’ve both have learned things.
“There’s times when it’s obvious we need Blake, so I think it’s a learning experience for both of us. There’s no way we could be worse with Blake Griffin back on our team. It’s not possible. He’s one of the best players in the NBA, so we can’t wait to have him back.”
Griffin has been out since a Christmas Day win over the Lakers. The team immediately won another nine games in a row. They had another stretch in late January-early February where they won seven of eight.
Despite the winning, Doc Rivers said a month ago that the thought the Clippers are better without Griffin is crazy:
Doc Rivers: "Anybody who thinks we’re better without Blake has sort of lost their mind."
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) February 11, 2016
Austin can call Blake the best player on the team and Doc can say it’s nuts to think the Clippers are better without Griffin, but their actions suggest otherwise. If they love Griffin so much, why have there been so many rumors about them trading him?