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Doc Rivers flattered Warriors run his stuff, but “they are doing it better than us”

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 03: Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts during the first half against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on April 03, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

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Every team in the NBA steals from others, “it’s a copycat league” is a cliché for a reason. That is especially true when assistant coaches jump from one team to another, often taking pet plays and things that worked well with them.

For example, years ago Alvin Gentry jumped from Doc Rivers’ Clippers’ staff to Steve Kerr’s Warriors staff (and eventually to his own team with the Pelicans... for now). That’s one reason you see a lot of similarities between what the Clippers and Warriors run.

Ethan Strauss of the Athletic asked Rivers about that and got a great answer.

“It’s flattering, and, honestly, frustrating at the same time because when Alvin (Gentry) came here and we’re playing them, and they’re running our stuff and they are doing it better than us, that’s flattering but it’s very frustrating. Knowing what’s coming and not being able to stop it at the same time, I thought was almost frustrating for me defensively, but they do a lot of stuff.”

The Clippers and Warriors could be a first-round matchup.

The challenge in beating the Warriors is not knowing what they want to do but stopping it — even if you defend a play perfectly Kevin Durant will just rise up and shoot over the top of the defense, or Stephen Curry will bomb from deep over the top, and it doesn’t matter. Talent and execution win out.

But the Warriors do run some good stuff, and Doc Rivers recognizes it.