At last, the injury-riddled Clippers added a player Wednesday as DeAndre Jordan returned from a left ankle injury to play against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center.
The 6-foot-11 center missed about two weeks recovering from the injury. Jordan is second in the NBA in rebounding, averaging 14.9 per game.
“Clearly he’s one of the better defensive players in the league,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He affects our offense more than people think as well because of his rolling, because of his ability to get behind the defense. So, you miss DJ when he’s not on the floor, there’s no doubt. We won a couple of games without him, but it’s hard.”
The Clippers went 3-2 in Jordan’s absence.
“Like I said all year, this group is used to playing without guys,” Rivers said. “So, it’s not like they flinch. They just keep playing.”
Williams All-Star snub?
Lou Williams may have had enough impressive stats to be on the All-Star team, but he was not selected by the NBA coaches who voted for the reserves.
Williams was averaging career highs in points (23.3), assists (5.1), three-point shooting (40.4%) and free-throw shooting (90.4%) before Wednesday’s game.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Rivers said about Williams’ not making the All-Star team. “I thought he deserved it. Numbers-wise, it was a no-brainer he should have been on it. I also think it’s tough. The name recognition thing goes a long way. He’s an All-Star as far as the way he played. I still think there should be at least 14 guys on the All-Star team.”
Danilo Gallinari, who missed his 17th game with a left glute injury, has been working out on the court in recent days.
Though he has shown some improvement, Gallinari will not play when the Clippers travel to Memphis for a game Friday night and to New Orleans for a game Sunday night.
“I’m feeling better,” Gallinari said. “My body is feeling better. The date of return, I don’t know. Not this road trip, yeah.”
The Clippers said that guard Austin Rivers, who is out with a right ankle injury, is progressing.
But Rivers is not expected to play soon.