LA Clippers Rookie Thornwell Shares Blueprint For Improving His Game

LA Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are an NBA franchise that is at a crossroad as the 2017-18 season is coming to a close.

As of April 11th, the Clippers had a winning regular season record of 42-39 and a respectable 12-3 record within their division. However, in the highly competitive Western Conference of the NBA, a 42-win record toward the middle of April only gives the Clippers a 10th place spot in the overall standings of their conference.

With the season wrapping up, the Clippers will obviously miss the NBA playoffs for the first time in a long time. They've lost some All-Star caliber players along the way. Former Clippers point guard Chris Paul joined James Harden with the first-place Houston Rockets. Blake Griffin is playing with Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons.

However, all is not lost for the Clippers as they go into this year's offseason ready to regroup to get themselves back to the contending team they have competed as for a while. They still have a championship-plated coaching staff in place led by Doc Rivers. The Clippers also have players with great potential in the future.

One of those players is a rookie guard named Sindarius Thornwell. Thornwell's playing season began in November 2017. He was catapulted into the starting lineup when the Clippers started dealing with injuries among their main backcourt players. Head coach Doc Rivers praised Thornwell for the performance he gave early on.

"He started out great. He understood who he was. He's a defensive player. And he then kind of got lost a little bit, typical rookie year. But what I'm impressed with is that he gathered himself. He caught himself," Rivers said at an April 9th postgame press conference after a 113-100 loss the New Orleans Pelicans.

Regardless of all the bumps and bruises Thornwell sustained over the course of his rookie season, he still put up a career-high 20 points against the Pelicans. He played in 72 games during his rookie season and was in the starting lineup 15 times. However, he was used primarily as a defensive specialist in the backcourt.

In a postgame interview after the loss to the Pelicans, Thornwell shared his own personal blueprint to getting better as a scorer and an all-around player. There is one main ingredient the rookie knows great players have in their DNA: Confidence.

"I learned that confidence is everything. To be successful in this league, you got to have confidence. You got to have the mindset. It's always a mindset thing," Thornwell said in his interview, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Clippers definitely have a reason to build on plenty of growth potential going into the 2018-19 season.



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