Clippers guard Randy Foye picks up slack in Eric Gordon’s absence
Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro didn’t have one or even two players in mind when asked who was going to fill the large hole in the lineup, making up for an injured Eric Gordon.
“All of them,” he said.
So far, though, it has been the man wearing No. 4: Randy Foye.
Since moving into the starting lineup last week, Foye has averaged 18.6 points in three games. In two of the three games, he had four assists.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself, especially now with Eric out, I’m that guy they go to on the perimeter,” Foye said after scoring a season-high 21 points in the Clippers’ victory over Charlotte on Saturday.
“Me and BD [Baron Davis] kind of split it. I’m just putting pressure on myself to make plays. Once your confidence is there, anything can happen.”
More minutes makes a difference, too.
Foye logged a season-high 40-plus minutes and made four three-point baskets against the Bobcats, also a season high.
“He’s getting an opportunity to play more consistent minutes,” Del Negro said Sunday after practice. “And he’s getting a little more comfortable and we need him to play well.
“That’s a positive. It’s not the role I envisioned for him. With Eric and Baron, he’s your third guard and can come in and play point, play the two, score, spread the defense. If they double-team Blake [Griffin], he can make a shot.”
That was the plan, originally. But Foye missed the first chunk of the season because of an injured hamstring, and now Gordon could be out for a month because of an injured right wrist.
That means the Clippers have had Davis, Gordon and Foye available and in the lineup at the same time for a little more than five weeks this season.
After Foye came back for good, on Dec. 18 at Chicago, the Clippers were 12-7. They are 1-4 since Gordon’s injury.
Lobs and spins
Davis and Foye are testing the limits with their long lobs to the dunking machine, Griffin.
How far can they go?
“Hopefully 94 feet,” Davis said, laughing. “I thought Randy threw an excellent pass to Blake in the first half. Blake has amazing hands and is a hard worker. Just a great play.”
He was talking about Foye’s lob, which looked like a 60-foot throw.
“It was crazy,” Griffin said. “I didn’t think he was going to throw it. But he did. And he put it right on the money and made it easy for me. I’m sure they can [go back farther]. The easy part is just catching and dunking. I’m sure those guys can go even farther and farther back.”
That was hardly the best Griffin highlight, however. There was Griffin’s stunning reverse pivot, spinning 360-degree layup.
“After I spun off my man, I saw somebody else come. I didn’t see who it was,” Griffin said. “I just saw his feet. So I just tried to jump into him and turn and get a shot off.”
Said Foye: “I didn’t know what to do. I kind of went back on my heels. He did that move. It was sick.”
Foye thought for a second about a name for Griffin’s spin move.
“Tasmanian Devil, something like that,” he said.
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