Staying on even keel the key for LA Clippers’ Cole Aldrich

first_img“For me, it’s just coming in and doing my job,” Aldrich said. “Finding whatever way I can to help get a win. Sometimes you walk out with bruises and scars and a missing tooth. That’s all part of it.” Although Aldrich was more than proud to show off his battle wounds, they’re not a particular point of pride for him. What is, however, is the way he’s able to step into a game and play whatever role is needed. Aldrich might sit out multiple games at a time or come off the bench in limited minutes, but when big minutes are needed from him he’s able to handle it by keeping a level head. Or as he says, making sure the roller coaster isn’t so steep. “You have those points throughout the year where you’re not too high or too low,” he said. “If you play great, you don’t get too high and if you don’t play great don’t get too low. Maybe because I’ve seen teammates that I’ve had that get really, really high and then things don’t go well one game and then they get really low. It’s an emotional roller coaster.” On paper, Aldrich’s stats might not jump out at you. But there’s one that does: The Clippers are 30-13 when Aldrich plays more than 10 minutes. Cole Aldrich sat in his locker stall proudly showing off his array of black and blue. There’s the deep bruise on his right forearm, the one that’s fading away on his right bicep. There’s the shiner under his left eye and, of course, the missing tooth. “He thinks he’s a hockey player,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. Well, he is from Minnesota. Not that the Clippers’ reserve big man needed to prove his toughness before, but following a 21-point, 18-rebound performance in a win at the Utah Jazz on Friday, his team realized just how tough he can play. Rivers said that shows just how important a glue guy like Aldrich can be. “This guy just does it. He doesn’t make any big deal about it and he has scratches and cuts,” Rivers said. “You look on guys in Instagram accounts or Twitter accounts or whatever they’re called and they have pictures of Cole and I think they kind of bring teams together even more.”There’s one particular picture of Aldrich on Austin Rivers’ Instagram account: A school-boy like photo of Aldrich – still with both front teeth – wearing a plaid vest. Austin Rivers didn’t say how he came across the picture but did warn everyone that his photo sleuth skills are well above average.“I can find any picture of anyone,” he said. Matchup gameYou won’t find the Clippers trying to fall in the standings in order to earn a more favorable playoff matchup. At this point, Doc Rivers said that all matchups are as favorable as they’re going to get.At this point, with two games left in the regular season the Clippers are playing about as well as Rivers wants them to be playing. All that’s left to do is test the game in the playoffs. “I think if you think you’re good enough, then why are you worrying about who you’re playing?” Rivers said. “But do you think that San Antonio is sitting at home worrying about who they’re going to play in the playoffs? Or Golden State? Or Oklahoma (City)? Or us? And I think that’s the real answer.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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