Hi, my name is Broderick Turner, and welcome back to the Los Angeles Times’ Clippers newsletter.
A season constantly on the brink because of injuries has been saved by the development league team the Clippers purchased only last May.
If the Clippers didn’t own Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario and weren’t able to dive into that pool of talent, the L.A. Clippers probably would be headed toward the abyss.
They have had seven players miss a combined total of 110 games this season because of injuries.
But because the Clippers were able to pluck C.J. Williams, Jamil Wilson and Tyrone Wallace from the Agua Caliente Clippers, L.A. has been able to survive when its rash of injuries threatened to take the Clippers under.
“Listen, if we had known years ago, we would have had this 10 years ago,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s been fantastic.”
More importantly, Rivers said, the new rule that allowed NBA teams to sign players to two-way contracts this season has allowed the Clippers to stay afloat.
They first signed Wilson and Williams to two-way deals last summer.
After Wilson was waived last week, the Clippers signed Wallace to a two-way deal, essentially bringing him over from the ACC.
Wilson, who played small and power forward, played in 15 games and started 10. He averaged 7.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game.
Wilson, who shot 42.9% from three-point range, was needed primarily because forwards Blake Griffin (knee) and Danilo Gallinari (glute) were out with injuries.
Williams has played in 27 games and started 13. He scored a career-high 18 points and just hit a game-winning three-pointer against the Atlanta Hawks.
He has played both guard and small forward for the Clippers, showing that he is a capable defender and an improving offensive threat.
Wallace has played in two games and is averaging 12 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 25 minutes per game.
At 6-5, the Clippers really like his size and awareness as a point guard.
“The two-way contract has really helped, though,” Rivers said. “In the years past, you could have had a G-League team, but you didn’t have the two-way contract so they wouldn’t have been as valuable.”
Wilson, Williams and Wallace have all spent time playing for the ACC, which runs the same system as the Clippers. So when they come to the Clippers, they pretty much have a strong idea of what to expect.
That was the case for Wallace, who was just called up from the ACC to play for the Clippers on Saturday against the Golden State Warriors.
“It’s just been invaluable for us,” Rivers said. “The guys who have come up like Tyrone, he didn’t know a lot of the plays but he knew half of them and he came in and could run stuff. It’s just been really nice.”
In case you missed it
Lou Williams scores 50 to lead Clippers over Warriors
C.J. Williams’ play is creating a difficult decision for the Clippers
(All times Pacific)
Tonight at Sacramento, 7 p.m.
Saturday vs. Sacramento, 12:30 p.m.
Monday vs. Houston, 7:30 p.m., TNT
Wednesday vs. Denver, 7:30 p.m.
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