New coach talks up his current squad’s star-power ahead of NBA season.
He knows a little something about big threes having worked with one of the best in the modern era.
And now new Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers says he has a new “Big Three” in the form of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Rivers won a title in Boston with his former stable of stars which included future hall-of-famers Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
The veteran leader made the big call during his side’s pre-season training camp where he said he was happy to put 25-year-old Jordan into the mix.
While the talents of Paul have never been in doubt and with Griffin starting to make his name in the NBA for more than just his highlight reel dunks, the pair are undoubtedly the on-court leaders of the side.
And while Jordan was capable of his own game-changing plays last season he has not made the jump yet to join the other two-thirds of the trio, who have played in a combined nine All-Star games.
However, Rivers does not see it that way.
“That’s our big three, I like our big three,” Rivers said.
“I like what DeAndre gives us. He gives us something a lot of the guys in the league can’t do. He can block shots, he can run the floor, he can defend, he’s talking and he’s in the best shape of his career. He’s doing a lot of great things for us.”
Rivers placed more pressure, or faith, in his centre, saying he hoped Jordan would be in the running for defensive player of the year.
Working harder without the ball has become one of Rivers’ main goals this season with the first two days of the pre-season camp working on nothing but defence.
“They should be better than any team I’ve ever coached, I really believe that,” Rivers said.
“They’re more athletic. They don’t have the veteran IQ but they should be in that area. We have a couple of individual defenders that can be dominating on defense. We have great speed but we don’t have the size in some ways as some of the teams I’ve coached.”