On their first day back at their practice facility in Playa Vista after nine days in Hawaii for training camp, the Clippers are dealing with a rash of injuries.
The latest injury was to starting forward Danilo Gallinari, who suffered a sprained left foot during the second exhibition game Tuesday night against the Toronto Raptors at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Gallinari, who is not expected to practice the next two days, is listed as doubtful for Sunday afternoon’s exhibition game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center.
“He did something to his foot,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s not serious, but we’re going to act like it’s serious so we’re just going to shut him down for a while.”
Guard Austin Rivers, who suffered a strained right glute in the first exhibition game last Sunday, will not play against the Trail Blazers.
“It’s a strange injury,” Doc said. “We just have to monitor him and be careful.”
Reserve forward Sam Dekker suffered a left oblique injury in the second exhibition against the Raptors. Dekker is listed as out for Sunday’s game.
On the positive side, Blake Griffin said Friday that the right big toe he had surgery on in May has not been a concern. He played in both games in Hawaii and has not missed a practice during the preseason.
“I haven’t had any issues,” Griffin said. “I haven’t had to be held back at all. So, I’m taking it day by day.”
Griffin even said he’s in good shape despite not being able work out as soon as he wanted because of the toe injury.
“My condition has been good,” Griffin said. “A point of emphasis for me this summer, even when I wasn’t able to, like, run, I was doing a lot of upper body conditioning. I was doing stuff in the water, just trying to get creative condition-wise to stay in as good of shape as possible.”
With nine new players on the roster, these days in training camp will be the time for the Clippers to build some trust.
They have learned to trust that Griffin will deliver for them. They have learned to trust that when they get open, Milos Teodosic will get them the ball. They have learned to trust that Patrick Beverley will play non-stop defense. They have learned to trust that DeAndre Jordan will gobble up rebounds. They have learned to trust that Lou Williams will provide scoring punch off the bench.
That all came to pass in two games in Hawaii, during practices there and here in Los Angeles.
“We have a lot of trust,” Griffin said. “Guys really trust the extra pass. Guys trust that the help is going to be there. I think that’s important. When your trust is high to start out with, as you get on the same page and as you learn each other’s tendencies and all those things, I think the trust builds even more. So, that’s what I learned, among other things, but that was the thing that stood out the most and the thing I was the most impressed with.”