LOS ANGELES -- Next to some of the best athletes on the planet on the Los Angeles Clippers' bench, there are nine guys in suits, rolling two rows deep.
The Clippers assistant coaching staff under Doc Rivers is so large the assistants now get dressed down the hall.
"It's a lot of eyes," Blake Griffin said. "You can't mess up."
Rivers and the eight coaches working for him all have specialties. Associate head coach Alvin Gentry handles the offense. Assistants Tyronn Lue and Kevin Eastman work on the defensive details. Armond Hill uses his knowledge from Princeton to attack problems from different approaches. Brendan O'Connor, a former advanced scout for Brooklyn, is an expert on what other teams are trying to run.
Player developmental coaches Howard Eisley, J.P Clark and Dave Severns handle a lot of the one-on-one individual work. Bob Thate takes care of all things shooting.
Everyone has a job, and they all hold Clippers players accountable.
"I get it from football. Every time I go to a football game, you're thinking 'How many coaches are out there?' Sometimes, I don't know if it's the coaches who are stretching or the players because they're so many," Rivers said before Wednesday's exhibition game with Utah. "Everything we've learned about school, the smaller the ratio, the more the students learn. I feel the same way in basketball."
Rivers has joked about eventually reaching a 1-to-1 coach-to-player ratio.
It's Rivers job to organize all the different ideas and opinions from his staff, but their mere presence, whether in suits on the sidelines or on the practice court, has players feeling confident.
"Everyone is seeing everything you're doing," Griffin said. "You want to be corrected when you're doing something wrong, and sometimes I might not realize that my timing is poor, even in a drill.
"The more eyes there are watching, the more chances there are to get things right."
Before J.J. Redick made his preseason debut for the Clippers, Rivers smiled at the possibilities.
"I like him on the floor," Rivers said. "It looks good."
Redick suffered a slight tear in his quad early in training camp, missing out of the first six preseason games.
With Redick healthy, the Clippers were finally able to run their starting lineup out onto the court in a 103-99 win at Staples Center.
Redick played 19 minutes and scored 14 points, connecting on 4 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 7 from 3-point range.
Five Clippers finished in double figures, led by 15 points each from Griffin and Darren Collison.
Chris Paul added 10 assists and six rebounds to go with 14 points.
Before the game, Rivers said Matt Barnes (sore calf) could return to full-contact drills in practice Thursday, clearing the way for him to play Friday in the preseason finale against Sacramento. ... Rookie Reggie Bullock saw his first preseason action, playing five minutes. Bullock practiced for the first time this week after dealing with a sore right knee at the start of training camp. ... The NBA announced the format of the Finals will change from 2-3-2 to 2-2-1-1-1, a change Rivers favors.
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