AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Even though the Clippers didn’t practice when they arrived here Sunday afternoon, the team announced that three newly injured players would play Monday against the Detroit Pistons.
Starting guard J.J. Redick suffered a bruised left knee in the first quarter against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night, but he continued to play and will play against the Pistons.
So will starting point guard Darren Collison, who suffered a sprained left big toe in the first half but also kept playing, and key reserve small forward Matt Barnes, who said he suffered a “bad sprain” of his left thumb but didn’t stop playing. .
All three of them received treatment Sunday.
“Well, DC [Collison] I was more concerned about because he hurt his foot,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said after Saturday night’s game in Indianapolis. “That’s the big toe injury. And those are awful injuries. I thought he’d never return. Even though he played [against the Pacers], I thought he really labored on that. You see him losing the ball.
“Then when J.J. went down, I was thinking, ‘My gosh, we’re going to end this trip with [Hedo] Turkoglu starting at the point at this point.’ They [Collison and Redick] both got up, they both kept playing. I don’t know how effective either one was after both injuries.”
Turkoglu signed as a free agent Thursday and played in New York on Friday night and in Indianapolis on Saturday night.
But he hasn’t practiced with the team yet.
Oh, and by the way, the Clippers don’t have All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who is out with a separation of his right shoulder.
To beat the elite
After losing to a Pacers team that has the best record in the NBA, the Clippers came to a conclusion.
“I think we learned that to beat the elite teams, you have to essentially play mistake-free basketball,” Redick said.
It’s not as if the Clippers are a bad team.
But they are a team still learning how to win together.
“I think that shows we still have room for growth,” Jamal Crawford said. “You want to play good basketball, but you never want to peak in January, honestly. You want to continue to build good habits. Sometimes there will be a little bit of slippage, but you get back on your horse and you correct those things. Watch some film, practice and do whatever it takes to get back on track, and I believe we’ll do that.”
For what it’s worth, Blake Griffin can take some solace in knowing that Pacers forward David West was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Sunday for elbowing the Clippers forward in the jaw on Saturday.