Understanding is that he had he had cancer, and there were some complications. 53 years old had the privilege of coaching cliff twice once as an assistant with portland trailblazers in the mid 90s, and then he joined us in detroit my first year, uh 2001 2002, and he helped turn that team. From a 30 win team, 32 win team to a 50 win team he’s one of the most underrated players really in the history of the league, he’s, a great defender and a really Music really gifted offensive player. So a very, very sad day died. Far too young uh go ahead. Brad uh kristoff’s just talked to us, and i know that yeah in recent days you know you’re limiting what you could tell us about his injury, but now that we know uh, what can you tell us about how hard he tried to come back and is there A possibility he might be able to play the next series. Well, the the door is not closed on the entire season. If we, if we are able to advance Music, you know when i spoke to you guys on this was wednesday about this. You know he had practiced um, he was sore um. It was clear that you know he’s doing everything he can and the guy’s been doing treatment. You know i don’t know 10 hours a day with casey and dion baldi um and it just wasn’t progressing the way that he had hoped, and so at that time i said that i was, you know not optimistic as as hard as he was trying and as Badly as he wanted to play so um, i think he informed you that he’s gotten some some treatment, some um some some prp and some other things done.

So you know he he was on the floor today and did did some shooting did a little bit of moving around, and so you know he wants to keep the door open to possibly play if we can, if we can move on um that’s, a very tough Situation but he’s trying his best okay we’re, going to move to zoom and we’re, going to start off with mark fallow mark, go ahead, rick now that you know uh the status for him for the foreseeable future for at least some period of time. Uh, obviously, you’ll have to play smaller at this point. Can you can you characterize what you think the blueprint looks like for being as successful as you can be and maximizing uh as good as you can play without without chris at this point? Well, you’ve seen it the last two games. Really we, you know it’s um. You know it’s, really tough, to lay out a set rotation because of the clippers um personnel and by the match up problems that they present present. So you know we’re going whistle to whistle with it um. You know michael kid, gilchrist has given us some really good minutes. You know he’s. Obviously an important guy bobi has done um. Some very good things in this series. Um and maxie and dorian you know are – are have been our two starting big. So look we just got ta. We just got ta figure out a way um.

You know to hang in and compete at a high level um. Obviously we did it game four um. They were able to win that game. You know game five was uh, was ugly really right from the start: uh game six. We got ta bounce back and next up. We’Re gon na have eddie zefko eddie go ahead, hey rick, i’m, very sorry about uncle cliffy and he was one of the good ones. What do you guys have to do other than the obvious things? But what do you have to do to survive and get to a game? Seven uh specifically, i mean uh defensively. What kind of grit has to show up and that sort of thing? Well, it goes without saying that we have to play better um in game five. Well, in our wins in the series we’ve averaged about 10 turnovers per game and over in about 51 rebounds and our losses we’ve averaged over 14 turnovers and less than ‘ rebounds. So, if you, if you, if you count the possessions we’re we’re at a plus 19 in our wins and at minus 19 in our losses, so possession stats are critical. We got to take care of better care of the ball and we got to rebound the ball. You know that’s that’s, the starting point um. We know we’re capable team, you know to score um and we got ta. We got ta key in on some some detail, things relative to their personnel um and look we’ll go we’re going to go.

As i mentioned. You know whistle to whistle um. You know time out to timeout and um. You know we’re gon, na we’re gon na do everything possible to get to a game. Seven. Okay, our next one’s, going to be in the room with you in recent years. The the evolution of small ball has kind of devalued in a way the traditional seven footer that doesn’t have those guard skills, but you see rudy gobert doing what he’s doing you guys have bobon. You still see in the traditional seven footers that don’t have that are gifted physically, but don’t have those natural guard skills the guys that you’re talking about, i think, are a little more skilled than you give them credit. For you know, gobert has got to become a much improved, free, throw shooter um, he has great hands, he catches and finishes um. So many things around the basket. Bobon has a wide ranging skill set. You know i don’t know taco’s game that well, but i saw him in chicago. I guess it was last year um and he has great hands and and so on, and so you know, is there a place for the seven footers yeah today’s game yeah. You know um and i think in in watching the evolution of the position it’s going in the direction of the you know. Porzingis’S, you know um that’s, the that’s, the next generation, five man it’s, the guy with with size that can shoot long range, put it on the floor.

Um drive it um and make plays and that’s. Why he’s a very unique player, but i don’t think the niche for the seven footer goes away, but it’s it’s become a more specialized situation and uh. You know you look at jared allen from from brooklyn he’s, very, very effective. You know but their system they fit him into their system, the right way, um and the system has a lot to do with the two. You know if you’re purely a five ounce system, you know that’s gon na that’s gon na hinder the opportunity for a seven footer, that doesn’t isn’t able to step out and shoot and do those kinds of things when you use bulb is how selective do you do? Is they’re just selective games you decide to put them into situations or yeah. We’Ve we’ve tried to find the best situations for him to be successful in our team to be successful during throughout the year, but he’s a very skilled, all around player, and he showed the denver game before the hiatus that you know, if you put him out there For you know a significant number of minutes, and we were you know we didn’t have kp, we didn’t have powell um finney smith was out, you know we decided to start him because we really, you know he had some familiarity with jokic and we just decided to Roll the dice, the guy 31 17. You know, i that’s an unreasonable expectation on a game to game basis um, but he is a highly skilled player and he’s worked a lot in his three too.

So i don’t know if you’ve seen that but um, i think that’s another part of his game. That’S going to come next. Okay we’ve got two more on zoom and then we’ll let’s go let’s, go um, cali, captain, hey rick uh. How is lucas ankle doing and how might this unexpected break um? You know aided in his recovery uh ankle’s doing well. All things considered, i think the extra two or three days is is a plus. Certainly you know in practice. Today he looked, he looked pretty good. Um, so i don’t going into tomorrow, i don’t i don’t, think he’s going to be limited and our last one is going to be from mac angle. Uh, hey rick you’ve had a chance now to play. Five playoff games are the playoffs any different in the bubble, as opposed to the conventional system, where you’re flying around and playing in different arenas. Um, you know the the actual basketball is uh is the same. You know it’s highly competitive. You know everyone understands the stakes. You know the environment’s different um. The fact that you’re not traveling is is different. Um. The fact that we haven’t tried we haven’t traveled here, i think, is one reason that the games have been played at such a consistently high level uh, particularly offensively um there’s. Just not as much upheaval of the volatility of nba travel now in the playoffs, the the travel isn’t nearly as volatile as it is during the regular season, but uh.

You know i’d say that the basketball is the same um. But you know the the lack of fans presents a different, dynamic and uh. You know you’re sort of drawing energy from your bench area, your support staff, your players in the bench area and that’s. That has been a different kind of thing, but that’s uh that’s. Just i think, a natural byproduct of the environment that we’re in thanks.