The Los Angeles Clippers have another set of back-to-back games this week. The team has already participated in a total of six sets of games scheduled on consecutive nights. One set was just last week against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Chicago Bulls. These games were scheduled within less of 24 hours of each other to which Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers thought was ‘ridiculous,’ per The Los Angeles Times.
“It’s funny how everyone talks about these back-to-backs and they’re making it better and then they do this,” Rivers said.
Well the Clippers are at it again as they have another set of back-to-backs this week starting with tonight. Tonight the Clippers play against the San Antonio Spurs and again tomorrow night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ahead of tonight’s first game, the Clippers released their injury report which only lists JaMychal Green (bruised tailbone) as questionable. Green has been out for a while and has remained questionable the past few games yet has not suited up. Once Green takes the court the Clippers will have a full healthy roster for the first time this season.
Doc Rivers Calls out Broadcaster for Kawhi Comments
A lot of controversy has surrounded Kawhi and the Clippers for their heavy usage of load management. Leonard has not participated in any of the team’s back-to-back games as he is currently on a load management schedule for his sore knee. Leonard suffered a knee injury during his time with the San Antonio Spurs that took him out for almost an entire season. For this reason, Leonard rests his knee during the regular season in hopes of playing to the best of his abilities during the post-season.
The game that caused the most outcry this season was the Clippers’ first game against the Milwaukee Bucks. The game was nationally televised and fans were excited to see the reigning Finals MVP play against the reigning NBA MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo. To much surprise, the Clippers decided to sideline Kawhi in order to load manage his knee and fans didn’t take this lightly.
NBA broadcaster, Doris Burke took to the media to slam Kawhi and the Clippers for their decision.
“Kawhi not playing to me is ridiculous at this point,” Burke said Wednesday on ESPN’s GET UP. “I don’t understand it. He is a great player. He is compelling to watch. If you’ve watched any of his games he’s been absolutely brilliant in the fourth quarter and won them a ton of games. And the Clippers obviously have a responsibility to Kawhi and to winning and long term.”
Rivers did not take lightly to Burke’s comments and addressed them in defense of the team’s star player.
“Then you have the Doris Burke’s of the world, complaining about guys’ load management, and then the network they work on are the ones changing the game time,” Rivers said in a video posted by Chris Hine of Star Tribune. “So you can’t have it both ways, that’s all I’m saying. I agree with the frustration from the fans point of view as well, but you just can’t have it both ways.”
Burke also commented on Doc’s comments per ClutchPoints and said she didn’t regret what she said but acknowledged that she could have used a better choice of words.
“He was speaking from a frustrated coaching perspective and he used me as a launching off point. … If I could do it all over, I would make it less personal. I could’ve used a different term than “ridiculous.” I am aware of the power of the words, so I use those carefully. I don’t regret anything I said, though, I was frustrated from the fan’s perspective of missing out on a Kawhi-Giannis (Antetokounmpo) matchup,” Burke said.
Since Kawhi is most likely going to play in tonight’s game against the Spurs, fans can expect him to be sidelined in tomorrow night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tip-off tonight is at 5:30 p.m. PST.