Once G-League bound, Thornwell and Evans have enjoyed their ride with the Clippers
The two rookies had been drafted in the second round by the Clippers last June, both Sindarius Thornwell and Jawun Evans dreaming about getting a taste of NBA life and hoping against hope that they wouldn’t spend the majority of their first year playing for L.A.’s NBA development league team.
For the most part, Thornwell and Evans got their wish, both of them playing significant roles for the Clippers this season because of a slew of injuries to L.A.’s backcourt.
Thornwell and Evans didn’t think they were above playing for the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario. It’s just that that wasn’t their dream.
“At the beginning of the year, we were like, ‘Man, we’re going to be in the G-League this year,’” Thornwell said, laughing. “But we both were like, ‘We ain’t trying to go to the G-League.’ It kind of worked out how we wanted it, because we didn’t want to go down as much. We wanted to be up here playing, so it kind of worked out how we wanted it to work out. But we didn’t expect it to work out this way.”
Thornwell played in his 58th game of the season for the Clippers, starting for the 11th time against the Houston Rockets on Thursday night. He had six points in 36 minutes and earned a technical foul after jawing with James Harden.
Evans played in his 42nd game for the Clippers. He had four points in nine minutes against the Rockets.
“It’s been a great season. I’m blessed to be here,” Evans said. “The coaches, they really give me a chance to show what I can do on the offensive and defensive end. It’s been a great season for me.”
Thornwell and Evans both know their role is to play defense. Though that’s what has gotten them both on the court, Thornwell admitted he is surprised to be getting this much playing time.
“Yeah, definitely, just because you hear when you first got here how a lot of rookies aren’t fully successful here,” Thornwell said. “A lot of rookies are just sent to the G-League and they spend most of their rookie season down there playing and developing. So that’s what we were kind of expecting for us too. But we always came in and worked and we got better so that the coaches could have confidence in us.”
CLIPPERS UP NEXT
AT OKLAHOMA CITY
When: Friday, 5 p.m. PDT.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 570, 1330.
Update: Thunder All-Star and do-everything guard Russell Westbrook is having another dynamic season. He’s eighth in the NBA in scoring (25.3), first in assists (10.2), third in double-doubles (49) and first in triple-doubles (21).
Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner