It is the most important part of the season for the Clippers, but yet they are unable to stay sharp and efficient because of a lack of practice.
Over an eight-day period that started Sunday, the Clippers will play five games, four of them on the road.
And then because they have so few healthy bodies, the Clippers can’t afford to push their players and take a chance of them having heavy legs.
So it becomes nearly impossible for the Clippers to practice when they need it the most.
“We can’t. … We don’t have enough guys to practice,” coach Doc Rivers said. “You still can do things. You do it with film work.
“There’s nothing better than practice, let’s be honest. But, we’re not going to have a practice for a while.”
Entering Tuesday night’s game, the Clippers had players miss a total of 216 games with injuries.
Currently, the Clippers are down forward Danilo Gallinari, who didn’t make the four-game trip because of a nondisplaced fracture of his right hand. The team is not sure when he’ll return.
Guard Pat Beverley is out for the season after having right knee surgery.
“We don’t practice as much,” Rivers said. “Nobody does.”
Rivers talks about health
With Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue taking a temporary leave of absence from his job for health concerns, it has now become a topic with NBA coaches.
Rivers had his own health scare last season, forcing him to miss several games and practices before he finally was diagnosed with a parasite he said was “Giardia.”
He took some time off and let assistant coach Mike Woodson run things, but Rivers said it wasn’t enough.
“What I should have done is walked away for about three weeks and I could have found out what was wrong,” Rivers said. “I could have probably end up being a better person, a better coach and all those. Instead you keep doing it. Then I started missing games and losing weight.”
Rivers said he spoke with Lue, who was an assistant on his staff with the Clippers.
“I worry about all of us,” Rivers said. “Coaching is hard. It’s a high-stressed job. It’s a tough job, it really is.
“It’s a hard job because you put your heart and your soul and your love into it at times. And being honest, there’s times where it comes back and bites you.”
When: Wednesday, 5 p.m. PDT.
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Update: The Bucks’ otherworldly Giannis Antetokounmpo is having an outstanding season. He is third in the NBA in scoring (27.5) and 10th in rebounds (10.1) and double-doubles (36). He’s also averaging 4.8 assists, which is tied for first on the Bucks with point guard Eric Bledsoe.