Everyone from the Los Angeles Clippers appreciated Chris Paul, a perennial All-Star of a point guard and someone who always controls the pace.
But now that Paul has been traded to the Houston Rockets, the Clippers want to … well, lose control.
“I’ve always been a ball-movement coach,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters (via the Orange County Register). “We can get back into that. I do want to play at a higher pace.”
Gone are the days of Lob City, of Paul tossing the ball sky high for power forward Blake Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan for powerful jams.
Oh, Griffin and Jordan remain, but this is about running and gunning and having tons of fun. Fantastic finishes aren’t an absolute necessity. Lob City never really worked, anyway.
Replacing Paul will be the likes of Patrick Beverley, a staunch defender obtained in the Rockets trade, and Milos Teodosic, signed from overseas and widely considered one of the world’s best passers.
Neither offers the star power of a Paul. But hey, maybe with this bunch of Clippers they will be significant fits, nonetheless.
“Again, you go into camp and you look at your team and you’ll find the pace that want to play,” Rivers said. “I think we should be an up-tempo team, an early-strike team. We should be a very physical team. (But) you have to get your team and see what you really have when you get to camp.”
So again, saying sayonara to Lob City may not be such a terrible idea.
Instead, these new Clippers seem to be taking on a more basic approach with their new starting point guard. And it’s perhaps summed up best by the coach’s son and an occasional ball-handler himself.
“We’re just going to hoop,” Austin Rivers said.