— Clippers small forward Jared Dudley said he had an MRI exam Friday on his bruised right knee that was negative.
Dudley said he was having a “tough time bending” the knee so he wanted to see a doctor to know that “mentally” there wasn’t a problem.
Dudley said the kneecap was rubbing against a ligament and that has caused some inflammation in his knee.
“I can’t really bend my knees the full extension,” said Dudley, who had nine points in 27 minutes against the Houston Rockets on Saturday. “I could only bend the knee up and down 70%. It’s hard running and bending my knees to run. I can’t really move on the defensive end like I want to.”
Dudley said he has had the injury since August, and that now it’s a day-to-day thing.
He said he has been dealing with it since then because J.J. Redick was out much of training camp because of a partially torn left quadriceps and Matt Barnes was out because of a sore left calf. Barnes, the backup small forward, sat out the last three games because of a bruised left thigh.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries,” Dudley said, “and I thought I could play without hurting the team.”
Search for identity
The Clippers have played only seven games, but they still haven’t developed an identity.
But Coach Doc Rivers isn’t overly concerned.
“I can’t forge an identity on anybody,” Rivers said. “I think that always plays out and you figure out what they are and you try to use the best of that.”
His players have talked about their identity being a defensive team, which hasn’t been the case for the most part.
Rivers said he’s confident the Clippers can be a good defensive team.
He does claim that he’s thought about his team’s identity “all of zero seconds.”
“I don’t know if it matters if have an identity, but it’s really important you understand who you are,” Rivers said. “I think that’s a big difference. And that takes awhile too. ... As long as every player knows what they are and what they’re supposed to do, that’s the identity I want.”