Clippers’ compacted schedule has coach looking at sitting players

Clippers forwards Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, DeAndre Jordan and guard Jamaal Crawford sit on the bench earlier this month. Key players could sit more with seven games in 10 days.
(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

The NBA schedule makers may have gotten a little too gung-ho-ho-ho with the Clippers’ holiday calendar.

Their game against Indiana on Wednesday night at Staples Center represented the start of a stretch of six games in nine days, ending with a Christmas showdown against Golden State.

The Clippers could be excused if they aren’t exactly in a festive mood by the time they play the Warriors.


Coach Doc Rivers said he would consider sitting players for a game or two depending on their level of fatigue.

“There’s just a lot of games and a lot of travel and it’s just hard,” Rivers said, “so we’re just going to watch our guys and I’m going to be very cautious.”

This compacted portion of the Clippers’ schedule includes two sets of three games in four days. After playing the Pacers, the Clippers will travel to face Denver on Friday before returning home to play Milwaukee on Saturday.

Then there’s a trip that includes back-to-back games against San Antonio on Monday and Atlanta on Tuesday before a day off preceding the game against Golden State on Christmas.

Rivers has limited his team’s practices in recent weeks to provide rest, canceling a previously planned session Thursday.

“My basic philosophy is if I think we can get something out of it,” we practice, Rivers said, “and if you don’t, why do it?”


Louder whispers

Jamal Crawford doesn’t pretend not to hear trade rumors involving his name.

It would be hard for the shooting guard considering how prevalent they have been in his 2 1/2 years as a Clipper.

“I’ve been in trade rumors ever since I’ve been here,” Crawford said.

Rivers has acknowledged interest in free agent Ray Allen, though he said such an acquisition would not require a preceding move to create playing time for the veteran sharpshooter.

“I just think he’s a good player,” Rivers said. “Why not add a good player to your team?”

But what about Rivers saying during training camp that there was no spot for Allen because of the presence of J.J. Redick and Crawford?

“There wasn’t at the time, and it may be [that way], so we’ll see,” Rivers said. “But I still have interest in him.”

Twitter: @latbbolch