LA Clippers’ Cole Aldrich showed ‘character’ Saturday

first_imgCole Aldrich has done a lot of good for the L.A. Clippers since he became a regular member of the rotation in December. But he had yet to face any real adversity — until Saturday’s game against the Sacramento Kings.The Clippers lost, but they were winners because of what Aldrich did. He started by making just one of his first seven shots. He could have wilted, but Aldrich didn’t seem to feel the pressure because he made his final seven shots to finish with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting.It was a defining moment, to be sure. But coach Doc Rivers was not surprised. That was evident when Rivers was asked before the Clippers took on visiting Houston on Monday night about the mettle displayed by Aldrich that night.“Well, he had to have it because he missed some, as we did as a team, he missed some pretty point-blank looks,” Rivers said, “and so he’s been pretty persistent. But I think he already kind of told you that by not playing for the first 20-whatever games and then when we called his number, he was ready. “Never stopped working, actually worked himself into better shape in not playing, which is hard to do. So I think that says a lot about his character.”Aldrich was asked about the backbone he showed in that game. Not surprisingly, there was no boasting from the mild-mannered reserve post player when he was asked at the morning shootaround about how he was able to regroup from that poor start.“I think if the shots are there and they’re good shots, just take them,” said Aldrich, who before Monday had started the past two games in place of DeAndre Jordan, who missed them with pneumonia. “That’s with anybody.“With Jamal (Crawford), he’s a great shooter. If he goes 0-for-6, we want him to take that seventh shot because we know as a team it’s going to go in, and that’s where we trust him.”Aldrich was back to coming off the bench Monday as Jordan returned and started. U.S. Olympic team finalistsBlake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul on Monday were among 30 players named as finalists for the 12-player roster for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.Paul played in the 2008 and 2012 teams that won gold medals, both teams going 8-0 in Beijing and London. He has averaged 8.1 points, 4.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 16 games.Griffin made the 2012 team but couldn’t play because of an injury.All three players participated in the 2015 USA National team mini-camp in July in Las Vegas.The Golden State Warriors have five players as finalists — Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala. The only other team with at least three is the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.Rivers was stoked.“It’s nice,” said Rivers, whose team begins a five-game road trip Thursday in Cleveland. “We’d love them all to be on it, but it is an honor to be a finalist in this league.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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