NBA teams trying to catch Warriors, Cavaliers – Las Vegas Review-Journal

All the talk was optimistic, and that was to be expected when an NBA team introduces a new player.

But as hopeful as the Los Angeles Clippers brass sounded at the news conference after the signing of veteran Danilo Gallinari, the reality of the situation didn’t match the tone of the words.

Losing point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets was a potentially crushing blow.

The Clippers’ problems, though, aren’t unique.

They are like most teams struggling to catch the champion Golden State Warriors. And in the Eastern Conference, the chase also is on to narrow the gap with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have gone to the NBA Finals the past three seasons.

The question: How to narrow that gap?

For the Clippers, it’s not about trying to become the next incarnation of the Warriors, a three-ball shooting team that revolutionized the game.

“I think a lot of teams make mistakes when they try to match up to the Warriors or how the Warriors play,” said Doc Rivers, the Clippers’ coach and president of basketball operations. “I don’t think anybody’s going to beat the Warriors the way the Warriors play. I think the way to do it is build your team the best way you think you can build your team, and hopefully that will be enough.

“One of the things that I looked at is I wanted to get bigger, not smaller. I want to be more versatile with our bigs. You can be big and slow, or you can be big and versatile. I think we’ve become big and versatile. I think that’s a way of being very effective in our league as well, and that was our thinking in going into this (free-agent period).”

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