The shorthanded Clippers have missed power forward Danilo Gallinari more than they could have imagined.
They miss his scoring, his passing ability and his availability off the bench.
Without Gallinari, the Clippers don’t have another scorer at the forward spot next to starter Tobias Harris.
Gallinari missed his 12th consecutive game Sunday night because of a non-displaced fracture of his right hand. The Clippers are unsure when Gallinari will return.
Gallinari has now missed a total of 50 games this season because of an assortment of injuries.
“Over all the guys we miss, it’s Gallo,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s not even close. One of the things I thought when we had him for those games was when you took Tobias off the floor, you had Gallo on the floor, so we always had a ‘stretch four’ on the floor. Now when Tobias goes off the floor, we can’t duplicate that. And that’s been difficult for us. He’s missed, clearly. But it is what it is. We’re used to it. He’s been out a lot.”
While everyone else has kept a close eye on the crowded standings in the Western Conference, Rivers maintained that he has not.
He says it’s his job to keep his team ready for the task at hand, like Sunday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center.
Besides, the standings change so much daily that it can be hard to keep up with things.
“I have not looked at the standings in 10 years,” Rivers said. “It doesn’t matter. I say that all the time. It really doesn’t matter what you look at. If you win the game and you keep winning the game, then things are going to work in your favor.
“But if you get caught hoping for someone else to do something for you … It’s just like in life, right? If you take care of yourself, you don’t have to ask anybody for any favors. That’s the same way I believe in this. It’s still fun to look. There’s nothing wrong with that. I get reminded by everyone, so it’s easy to know where we’re at. But that’s all I do.”