Despite place among the front-runners, Clippers remain meh on standings

first_imgAfter playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, the 38-year-old Crawford signed with Phoenix, his eighth team in 19 NBA seasons, a day before this season began.He’s contributed veteran know-how and on-court production since, scoring in double figures in five of the last seven games, including draining his 10th career game-winner in an upset of the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 23.Rivers said it’s all par for the course that Crawford’s playing on.“Jamal’s gonna play until he’s 55 … even when he retires, he’ll be in a rec league somewhere scoring 50,” said Rivers, who also credited Crawford for being one of the players who got the Clippers organization “on the right track.” Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates CRAWFORD HOMECOMINGVeteran guard Jamal Crawford will lead the last-place Phoenix Suns into Staples Center on Wednesday for a meeting with his former team.Crawford was a fan favorite among Clippers fans for five seasons, a span in which he twice was named Sixth Man of the Year.Related Articles For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error PLAYA VISTA — Clippers fans in L.A. might be crowing about the fact that their team is in first place, but the Clippers themselves say they aren’t paying any attention to the Western Conference standings, nor to any of the “noise” stirred by their surprise ascension.They’re not even tempted to, said forward Tobias Harris, surmising that even if they did, “we could be about three losses away from 10th place, so …”At 13-6, the Clippers were, as of practice Tuesday morning, technically .002 of a percentage point ahead of the Golden State Warriors (15-7). They also were one of seven teams within 2-1/2 games of first place.“We showed after the last 15-20 games that we can be a very good team,” veteran center Marcin Gortat said. “But we can’t forget there’s 60 more to go. Let’s not get excited. “I’m very confident about setting screens for people,” the 6-foot-11, 245-pound Gortat said. “These guys know that if I’m gonna set a screen, they’re going to be open and it’s up to them to use that screen. Particularly, Tobias Harris was really good the last week. He knows that every time I set a screen, he’s going to be pretty much butt-naked open.”Rivers said he couldn’t comment on the center’s colorful description: “I don’t know what that is,” but that he agreed with his assessment: “Yeah, Marc is a great screen-setter.” Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum “I’ve been on the teams that played well, and 15-20 games in we were thinking about which team we’re going to play in the playoffs, from what position we’re going to play. The next thing you know, you barely make the playoffs from an eighth spot. So you’ve got to slow down and calm down.”“I don’t even count record,” said Clippers Coach Doc Rivers, repeating what’s become something of a mantra. “I just thought we were gonna be good, and I think we are. And I think we’re gonna get a lot better.”EXACTLY HOW OPEN?Rivers could be right, with chemistry continuing to build between his players, including Gortat and Harris – who said he received messages congratulating him from just about every teammate when it was announced Monday he’d been named Western Conference Player of the Week.Harris said the player of the week honor was a testament to the Clippers’ 3-1 record between Nov. 19 and Sunday. It’s also a reflection of his improved production on pick-and-roll plays – and that is a testament, Harris said, of being able to wield the Polish Hammer.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.“Part of that is a lot of those good looks have come from Gortat setting those screens,” said Harris, who is averaging a team-best 1.15 points per play post-pick, according to ESPN.com’s Kirk Goldsberry. “I mean, I watch the film and guys are way off just because of how hard he sets screens, so that helps me out a whole lot.”last_img read more


Blažević: BiH football players are the sons of their homeland

first_imgFamous football manager and former manager of BIH Miroslav Ćiro Blažević said to FBiH TV that BiH showed in the last match against Greece that it is a better team and added that he’s an optimist and I hope that BiH will win. Blažević noted that Greece is a tough team, but the biggest guarantee of good play for BIH is the fact that it has many good players.Blažević added that the fact that this is such an important match should be enough inspiration to players to play hard and well.Blažević noted that it is true that BiH group is rather easy, but other opponents, like Slovakia, must not be underestimated either.In the end, Blažević wished BiH team all the best, and added that they are the sons of their homeland, and they have the opportunity to present BiH in the best way possible, like no one has ever done before.last_img read more