Clippers hope building a ‘brotherhood’ will pay off on court

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Paul George, who was acquired in a trade from Oklahoma City to complete one of the league’s preeminent pairings, said his new team’s dynamic reminds him of his Indiana Pacers teams that reached consecutive Eastern Conference finals.“I’ve been a part of teams that we built something in the locker room, we built that brotherhood,” George said. “We didn’t allow outside noise, we didn’t allow media, we didn’t allow anything to break us apart, and I sense that with this group here, how well and tight-knit we are already – and the ball ain’t even been rolled out yet.”George said he and his new teammates got acquainted via a group text that started “the second me and Kawhi became a part of this team.”“We were all chatting, talking, laughing, building that togetherness, that camaraderie,” George said. “So that relationship was established early, to where we came in the facility it was like I knew ’em. We fast-forwarded all that getting to know each other based off of us already being in that chat.”Since then, they’ve bonded over a semi-competitive team fishing trip and paintball battles – “Pat (Beverley) was all over the place, shooting at everyone, even the people on his team!” center Ivica Zubac reported. They’ve gone together to L.A. Rams games and a Bellator mixed martial arts event, and this week, they’re in Hawaii for training camp. What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 The Clippers are eager to talk about “brotherhood,” the positive vibes emanating from their returning nucleus and the fun they’ve had bringing this team and its superstar additions even closer.They think cultivating a positive work environment will help ensure success on the court, although veteran coach Doc Rivers said it’s impossible to predict a team’s disposition before the season begins.Whether or not it serves as an accurate predictor, last season’s resilient group got along and thrived because of it. They welcomed new players into the rotation after the trade deadline. Without any All-Star selections, they pushed the Golden State Warriors to six games in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series. And in the process, they won over the summer’s most coveted free agent.“Last year, it seemed like watching them was like a brotherhood being on the floor together,” said Kawhi Leonard, who said his two previous NBA championship teams practiced similar teamwork. “They play with each other, they made sacrifices, they also have Coach Doc, a great head coach.” Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum center_img Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Related Articles “Right now, yeah, they like each other, there’s no doubt about that,” Rivers said. “And that’s good. But what they are also is very competitive. It’s good to be competitive, go at each other, be physical with each other, and then still like each other.”But he cautioned: “We’ve had no adversity. We haven’t lost a game. Minutes haven’t been dispersed. … My guess is after the third or fourth preseason games, when some guys are seeing, ‘I’m not getting as many shots’ or ‘I’m not getting any minutes,’ that’s when the chemistry starts. So we’ll know more.”It’s those tough moments that put a premium on togetherness, reserve guard Lou Williams said.“Chemistry is a real thing,” said Williams, whose cool demeanor balanced with Beverley’s fiery temperament to set the tone last season. “I thought it was important for us to be in the room with each other as much as possible, to start building that camaraderie to understand what each guy brought to the table, personality-wise.“That way, once we get into those fourth quarters when we need to communicate our competitive spirits are high, your words won’t be misconstrued. Your teammates can understand that you’re coming from a positive place and you have a common goal of trying to win a basketball game.” For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory last_img

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