Hi, my name is Broderick Turner, and welcome back to the Los Angeles Times’ Clippers newsletter.
The leader is determined to show his followers that he’s invincible, even if the leader’s left ankle has not been 100% healthy since he sprained it on Jan. 11.
The leader is determined to be there for his followers, even if there some swelling remains in the leader’s ankle.
The leader is determined to fight through his pain for his followers, even during those moments when the leader’s ankle throbs after he has tweaked it during a game.
So when the leader of the Clippers is asked how his sore ankle is doing, the leader just shrugs and tries to downplay the significance of his injury.
“Like it’s been,” the leader, DeAndre Jordan, said. “Day-to-day.”
Jordan knows the rest of the Clippers are following his lead and he knows there is too much at stake for him to take any time off to rest the ankle.
The Clippers are challenging for one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference, and every contributor is needed for them to have any chance of extending their postseason participation to seven consecutive years.
Jordan missed five games when he was first suffered the injury almost 2½ months ago.
Jordan has a reputation as an iron man for the Clippers, once playing in 360 consecutive games. So it’s easy to understand why he would want to play through his injury.
Again, Jordan was asked by a reporter to describe how his ankle is faring this late in the season.
“The same it’s been,” said Jordan, before starting to sing, “I’m a survivor.”
Indeed, Jordan is and so are the Clippers.
They lost starting guard Milos Teodosic to a sore plantar fascia injury during Tuesday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center.
They still don’t have Danilo Gallinari (nondisplaced fracture of his right hand), Avery Bradley (abdominal surgery) and Patrick Beverley (season-ending right knee surgery).
They have had 11 players miss a total of 231 games due to injury this season.
But the Clippers are still standing and still in position to make a run for the playoffs.
“Every game is do-or-die for us,” Jordan said. “Every game we drop, it’s going to be tougher and tougher for us to extend our season, like I keep saying. We still got a chance and I think we’re still optimistic in this locker room. But we’ve got to take care of business. We can’t afford to put together 40 minutes of a basketball or even 45. We’ve got to put together a full 48 minutes of effort on both ends of the floor.”
The leader will do his part for his followers, whether he is ailing or not.
The leader wants all of the followers to stay focused, despite their tenuous position.
“We know what’s at stake and we know we got [seven] games left,” Jordan said. “We know what we have to do to extend our season. Everybody in this locker room wants our season to continue. We’ve got to, first of all, go game by game. We can’t look into the future. But every game is important. Every possession for 48 minutes is very important.”
(All times Pacific)
Friday at Portland, 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Sunday vs. Indiana, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday vs. San Antonio, 7:30 p.m. TNT
Thursday at Utah, 6 p.m.
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