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Clippers’ Doc Rivers foresaw a coaching future for Nets’ Jacque Vaughn

first_img“I hope,” Rivers said, “he gets a good shot here.”SCORING SURGEIf you love defense, the bubble might not be the best place for you.According to ESPN, entering Sunday’s games, 17 of the 22 teams inside the bubble were putting up more points — by an average of nine points —  than they’d averaged before the season was suspended on March 11 because of the coronavirus.The Clippers, who, for the season, are the NBA’s fourth-highest scoring team, with 116.3 points per game. On the NBA campus at Walt Disney World Resort, their scoring average has ticked up to 118.0 points per game.For the season, the Nets are averaging 111.3 points per game; in the bubble, Vaughn’s team is scoring 117.8 points.Rivers said the offensive improvement is the result of extra practice and shooting.“We’ve had a lot of practice time,” Rivers said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had this much practice.“We have free gym every night, so I think guys are putting a lot of work in,” added Rivers, referencing the hour or so of open gym available to every team, every night, even game nights.“There’s no oversight, it’s really just shooting. But a lot of guys are coming — on every team, not just our team — and they’re getting a lot of extra shots with our coaches. When they’re struggling with some kind of concept, offensively or defensively, they have the opportunity to go over it in those little sessions, so it’s been invaluable.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Perhaps not specifically on Sunday evening, but longer term, Doc Rivers is rooting for Jacque Vaughn.Entering the game against the Clippers, Brooklyn’s interim coach — promoted in March following Kenny Atkinson’s midseason departure — is 5-2, including 3-2 in the bubble. Brooklyn clinched a playoff berth last week with a 119-106 win over the Sacramento Kings in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.It’s the second NBA head coaching stint for the Pasadena native, who starred at John Muir High School, where he maintained a 3.94 grade point average and earned recognition as the seventh-ranked recruit in the nation.As a pro, Vaughn played for Rivers in Orlando for the duration of the 2002-03 season, enough time for Rivers to predict what was next for the 6-foot-1 guard who averaged 4.5 points and 2.5 assists in 12 NBA seasons.center_img “Listen, I coached Jacque in Orlando, he played with me for an entire year,” Rivers said, via Zoom, before their teams met Sunday “So I’m a big fan of his. He was one of those players, similar to (current Clippers assistants) Ty Lue, and Sam (Cassell), that you knew when they retired, they would be coaches.”To hear Vaughn tell it, he was taking notes while he was a member of the Magic. Orlando went 42-40 that season and lost in seven games to the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, with Vaughn contributing 4.9 points and 3.6 assists.“It was great playing for him,” Vaughn said. “We were a team that we had a superstar in Tracy McGrady, so I saw first-hand how Doc was able to coach high-talented, high-level players who need to be challenged, but also have a great deal of skill.”Vaughn said he appreciated his front-row seat for that dynamic, but also how Rivers was able to “coach a team that played extremely hard and at times overachieved, to be able to get the most out of the group.“I definitely consider him a guy that I’ve taken a lot from and leaned on as far as my coaching career,” Vaughn said.last_img read more

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