Jamal Crawford sat toward the end of the Clippers' bench during a game Saturday night against the Atlanta Hawks, his left leg wrapped in ice, the pain in his strained calf too much for him to play in the second half.
He had given the Clippers 9 minutes 35 seconds of playing time in the first half, but was unable to go any more even though Crawford and the Clippers said the shooting guard didn't reinjure himself.
Crawford is not expected to play Monday night against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center and may not play the rest of the week.
"I just need more time to strengthen it," Crawford said. "It's not ready yet. Yeah, it's frustrating."
Crawford was injured Feb. 26 against the Houston Rockets. He took three games off over nine days to rest his calf.
With the playoffs about six weeks away, Crawford wants to make sure he is 100% healthy before trying to play again in the regular season.
"I just have to get it stronger because I don't want the same thing to bother me going into the playoffs," Crawford said. "I didn't reinjure it. I can tell it has be strong for sure. I don't feel confident pushing off it."
Crawford, who is second on the team in scoring at 18.7 points per game, recalled when he first felt some discomfort against the Hawks.
"It was just a normal jump pass in the first quarter when I felt it," Crawford said. "It needs to get stronger. I've got to continue to work at it, that's for sure. I don't want to go through another one of these."
With starting shooting guard J.J. Redick still out with a bulging disk in his back, the Clippers don't want to rush Crawford back.
"We don't have enough guards to take any risk right now," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said.
After the Clippers turned the ball over 18 times against the Hawks, including five in the fourth quarter, Rivers jumped all over his team for being so sloppy with the basketball.
"I don't like turnovers period," Rivers said. "You're going to have some. But a lot of them were unforced. A lot of them were way too casual."
The Clippers have big games this week at Staples Center against Pacific Division foes, the Suns on Monday night and the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
So, Rivers was asked after Saturday night's game, what else does he want his team to work on beyond the turnovers.
"Turnovers, execution," Rivers said, smiling. "That's all I'm thinking about right now. I can't get past that.
"But listen. Each game is different. It's two different teams in a lot of ways [and yet] similar in that they are two high-octane teams offensively so we have to deal with that. But we have to be sharp on offense. You need to play great defense against those two teams, but you need to have your offense clicking against those two teams as well."
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