first_img“They collide at times,” Rivers said. “And for me, I’m always gonna lean toward the rest side of that.”While the Clippers entered the season aiming for one of the top two seeds in the West – and appeared on track in November, when they started the season 14-2 – Rivers has stopped emphasizing where the Clippers finish.“Our goal coming out was to be 1 or 2,” Rivers said, “but with the way the season turned out with all of the injuries, you had to let that go. I’m smart enough to know that this is not gonna work, so you go to the next thing. Once you can’t get one or two, then you start thinking health and being ready.”To that end, Rivers left Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan at home when the Clippers played in Denver last week.Resting continues to be a hot topic around the league, after Cleveland sat all of its All-Stars Saturday, leading to an emphatic win by the Clippers over the defending champions. “That’s a sensitive subject around here right now,” Rivers quipped.That won’t stop the Clippers from resting players, of course. Rivers said last week that he expected to rest two players Thursday in Dallas, the Clippers’ third game in four nights. On Monday, he amended that to say that is a game that has been circled as “a game of concern.”“I don’t know who (will rest) yet,” Rivers said. “And there might not be. I kind of recuse myself from that, leave it up to guys who are smarter than me.”Talk of the tradeA bold move that would have shaken up the Western Conference power structure never materialized, but two months later, Carmelo Anthony joining the Clippers remained a topic of discussion.“I haven’t thought about it,” Anthony told reporters following Monday’s shootaround. “There was an opportunity during the deadline. There was always talk the last couple of seasons being connected to the Clippers or Lakers. Somehow always been connected. First it was the Lakers. Now it’s the Clippers situation.’’The Clippers reportedly considered trading Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers for Anthony, who is close friends with Clippers point guard Chris Paul.Entering Monday, the Clippers were 6-8 since the trade deadline, and it’s reasonable to wonder if Doc Rivers, who’s also the team’s president of basketball operations, wishes he had been more aggressive.“We would always like to have made a move to improve your team,” he said, “but as I’ve said a thousand times, there was really no good offers out there. Read all the speculation, but if some of those trades that you guys (the media) were all proposing were true, we would have done all of them.“There were some sweet trades out there, but unfortunately, both teams didn’t agree on those trades, and that was the issue.”While the idea of a fourth superstar on the roster is no doubt appealing, Rivers said he had no regrets about standing pat at last month’s deadline.If the Clippers had been healthy the 15 games before the All-Star break, when they were forced to adjust to life without Griffin and Paul, he said, “We wouldn’t have this discussion.” LOS ANGELES >> It used to be that Doc Rivers listened to his players to decide when they needed rest. But with an infusion of sports scientists, a sleep expert and a team psychologist to the Clippers staff this season, it’s a decision that has largely been taken out of his hands.These days, Rivers joked, he is often the last to know when players should rest.It can be a frustrating exercise, particularly given the severity of the Clippers’ postseason prospects. They could finish as high as fourth, with home-court advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, or as low as seventh. The latter would mean a date with either San Antonio or, in the worst-case scenario, Golden State.The decision to rest players is made more difficult by the fact each game can have serious consequence in the standings.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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