Clippers reconvene, prepared to erase memories of that Game 5

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The chaff was lightsome again inside a Clippers’ use facility, months of fretting over a ashamed owners and an agonizing playoff detriment giving approach to several reduction pithy topics.

The name “Donald Sterling” was spoken during media day Monday, though it didn’t trigger a distressed expressions that had been on players’ faces final spring. Perhaps a fact that Sterling no longer presides over a organisation he had owned given 1981 had something to do with it.

“We’re going to speak about basketball,” Coach Doc Rivers said, “and that’s going to be unequivocally nice.”

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Well, not wholly about basketball. Subjects enclosed ensure J.J. Redick’s baby son (“When he initial came out,” Redick said, “I suspicion he was an visitor from ‘Prometheus'”), swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts’ short-shorts (“I usually feel voluptuous in these,” he said) and a design of Blake Griffin’s abdominal muscles in a Oct emanate of GQ.

“They had to oil those up,” Redick insisted.

“I don’t consider that’s Photoshopped,” brazen Matt Barnes countered. “I consider that’s genuine life.”

The critical things starts Tuesday when a Clippers open training stay in Las Vegas, a commencement of what they wish is a nine-month tour to a NBA Finals.

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The players reconvened after a bustling summer that enclosed some-more than billionaire Steve Ballmer’s presumption control of a team.

Super underling Jamal Crawford got married, usually hours after personification in a midnight pickup diversion with his Clippers teammates.

Point ensure Chris Paul ran his basketball camps and introduced President Obama as partial of an beginning to assistance young members of minorities.

Griffin visited Croatia and worked tirelessly with sharpened manager Bob Thate.

Barnes mislaid 20 pounds after implementing a stricter diet and participating in yoga with a organisation of comparison women.

“I’m in there with a [T-shirt] on and tattoos and my shorts,” Barnes recalled, “and these ladies were like ‘Are we lost?'”

Wherever they went, a Clippers couldn’t shake one topic: their epic Game 5 meltdown opposite a Oklahoma City Thunder in a Western Conference semifinals final spring. Redick pronounced he threw a “pity party” for himself that lasted several weeks.

Paul, whose litany of mistakes in a final notation contributed to a defeat, has pronounced he wanted to reason on to a pain of a impulse so he competence not have to knowledge it again.

“Game 5 was horrible,” Paul said Monday. “There’s no tip because we mislaid Game 5. But we consider this year gives us an event to get right behind there, and they contend story tends to repeat itself; this is one that we wish it doesn’t.”

The Clippers’ core of Paul, Griffin and DeAndre Jordan is entering a fourth deteriorate together and a second underneath Rivers, a laxity they design to furnish improved formula than final season’s 57-25 record and coming in a discussion semifinals.

In a off-season a organisation combined free-agent forward-center Spencer Hawes to space a building with his three-point sharpened and indicate ensure Jordan Farmar to equivalent a depart of Darren Collison.

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“I like what we did this summer,” Rivers, who is also a team’s boss of basketball operations, pronounced of a moves. “Obviously, we consider we all wanted an even improved summer — we know we did— though we like a team.”

Every actor is approaching to be means to attend in a initial day of training camp, with Crawford observant a teenager feet emanate would not stop him.

Ballmer did not make an coming Tuesday, though his name ceaselessly came up. Asked about a former Microsoft arch executive’s impact on his team, Rivers reached into his pocket, pulled out his cellphone and joked, “Hold on, I’ve got to spin off my iPhone.”

Players pronounced they were vehement to play for an owners they design to have a happy participation from his chair underneath a basket during Staples Center.

“His face gets all red and his hands get all sweaty and from an owners we don’t see that each day,” Barnes said. “I’m certain we’re going to see him jumping adult and down instead of usually sitting in his chair a whole time. As a player, we adore that and it gives me chills to consider about it.”

Something else that competence give a Clippers chills would be appearing in a first-ever NBA Finals. Of course, to do that they would have to make a discussion finals, another first.

They’re not about to get forward of themselves.

“This year, it’s about a process,” Paul said. “It would be good if we could usually start a playoffs tomorrow, though we’ve got a lot of work to do before that.”

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

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