Clippers Notes: Mbah a Moute, Griffin, Smith

The Clippers are enjoying the benefits of the Sixers’ decision not to bring back Luc Mbah a Moute, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The eighth-year veteran signed with L.A. on September 25th, just before the start of training camp. He expected to remain in Philadelphia after starting 61 games there last season and was surprised when the Sixers’ front office showed little interest. “They didn’t call me,” Mbah a Moute said. “I talked to them at the end of the season. They said they were interested in bringing me back. And then the free agency period, we didn’t hear from them. So I had to make a decision.” That decision has worked out well for the Clippers, who added one of the NBA’s best defenders. Mbah a Moute is allowing 0.5 points per defensive isolation play this season, which is among the top rates in the league. “He literally can guard all five positions,” said L.A. coach Doc Rivers. “That’s not a lot of guys in the league [that can do that].”

There’s more news out of Los Angeles:

  • Mbah a Moute, who played for the Bucks, Kings and Wolves before coming to Philadelphia, told Rowan Kavner of NBA.com that he enjoys being part of a successful team. The Clippers are 22-13 overall and 14-5 since he joined the starting lineup. “You appreciate being on a team like this,” said Mbah a Moute, who has only been part of one winning season. “No offense to Philly, or my time there, every time we played hard. We were young, played hard, competed, but we weren’t as talented. You definitely appreciate the value of having a good team and playing on a good team.”
  • The Clippers are hoping for an update this week on the status of injured forward Blake Griffin, writes Robert Morales of The Long Beach Press-Telegram. The Clippers announced on December 26th that Griffin was expected to miss at least two weeks with a partially torn left quadriceps. Rivers said Griffin is doing pool workouts and will meet with a team doctor at the middle or end of the week.
  • Josh Smith shouldn’t expect to return to the rotation any time soon, tweets Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times, as Rivers doesn’t want to tinker with a lineup that has produced six straight victories. “Right now,” the coach said, “why would you want to touch what’s going on?”

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