On Wednesday night Los Angeles Clippers are on the road to compete in the first game of their back-to-back in a matchup against the Houston Rockets. This should be an exciting game as fans will see James Harden and Russell Westbrook square off against Kawhi Leonard and hopefully (but unlikely) Paul George. Leonard was not listed on the Clippers’ injury report while George was listed as ‘questionable’, so his debut is also not confirmed.
What fans can count on is Clippers head coach Doc Rivers squaring off with his son Austin Rivers, guard for the Houston Rockets. The last time we saw these two go against each other was during preseason at the beginning of October. The father-son duo went back and forth all game long, and it seems like fans can expect the same tonight. According to Clutch Points, Doc had a few words about his son and tonight’s competition.
“He [Austin Rivers] says a lot…I for sure say stuff back, especially if we win. If we lose, I’m not going to talk to him for like two weeks,” Doc Rivers said.
Doc Rivers vs. Austin Rivers
During preseason the Rockets took down the Clippers 109-96. The Rivers family seemed to have a lot of fun on the sidelines, as they couldn’t stop exchanging words with one another. Clutch Points captured the friendly competition between father and son:
Austin Rivers played for his dad Doc from 2015 to 2018 after being involved in a three-team trade. Though some people cried nepotism, Austin grew into a solid role player on the court. In June of 2018, it was time for father and son to part ways as Austin was traded to the Washington Wizards.
Per FanSided Doc Rivers said, “he’s grown so much more, just look at his numbers last year. His numbers were off the chart. He came into the league at 20 and he grew,” Rivers said after he traded his son. “That’s what you want your players to do and that’s what he did.”
Austin signed with the Houston Rockets in December of 2018. He re-signed with the team this summer on a two-year, $4.54 million contract. During the 2018-2019 season, he played in 47 games and averaged 8.7 points, 2.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds while shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Clippers vs. Rockets
Wednesday night calls for an exciting matchup as both teams boast 7-3 records, but are also dealing with injuries. On the Clippers side, George may still be out while recovering from surgery on both shoulders and shooting guard Landry Shamet is suffering from a Grade 2 ankle sprain. The Clippers have a reliable bench that is filled with versatile players who can attack the basket and defend when needed.
On the Rockets end, guard-forward Eric Gordon is recovering from knee surgery and is out for six weeks. The team will have to heavily rely on The Beard and Westbrook.
The Clippers are second in the Pacific division and the Rockets are first in the Southwest division. Currently, the Clippers are averaging 111.9 points per game and allowing 106.9 points per. Houston is posting marks of 120.3 points per game while allowing.