Doc Rivers' tough love has been the making of Chris Paul and Clippers

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That is the opinion of Brent Barry, the former NBA star who spent three seasons with the LA Clippers after being drafted in 1995.

Barry, who now works as an analyst for NBA TV after a 14 year career in the pros, made clear just how much he values the role played by the former Boston Celtics head coach in helping Chris Paul, and the franchise as a whole, during a conference call today:

"I think probably the biggest impact for me in watching the games the way I've seen it is the way that Doc communicates with Chris Paul. 

"They're both point guards, they are both very strong willed, and I think that Doc has found a way to get through to Chris Paul in ways that it's made Chris grow up and mature as a basketball player this deep into his career."

The rise of the LA Clippers in the past few seasons can be correlated with the arrival of CP3 from the New Orleans Hornets in 2011 and the team now sit third in a loaded West courtesy of a 54-22 record.

And while Paul has spent a period of this season out injured, when he has played he has been a pivotal figure in the Clippers rise up the Western Conference.

His numbers are currently above his eight year career average, with the 28-year-old posting 19 ppg, 10.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game this campaign and he has dominated teams on both side of the ball. 

And Barry is sure Paul would be the first to admit the influence of Doc Rivers on his game:

"Even as good as he is, I think Chris would tell you that he's become a better player this year because of Doc Rivers," said the former Clippers guard.

Rivers made the move to LA in the summer of 2013 after nine years, and one NBA title, with the Boston Celtics.

If he can continue to galvanize the likes of Paul, alongside the talents of Griffin and DeAndre Jordan as the Clippers head for the playoffs, the franchise will be a formidable opponent come the post-season.

LA Clippers
Chris Paul

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