If it were up to Reggie Evans, he would play right now.
But it’s not up to Evans, and he knows he has to listen to the Clippers’ training staff that has told the backup center-power forward that his sprained right foot hasn’t healed enough for him to play.
Evans said he participated in some on-court work with the Clippers at Saturday’s practice and hopes to do more this week.
“If it was up to me, the way my mind is right now, I’d start doing so more stuff right now on the court,” he said. “But I’ve got to listen to [Clippers trainer] Jasen Powell. I can’t overrule him.
“You know me, I’m a competitor. I want to play. So quite naturally my mind is like, ‘Let’s go.’ ”
When the Clippers signed Evans about 1½ weeks ago, they said he would be out for at least two weeks.
Evans said he has been making progress but still isn’t sure when he will be able to play.
“This week will be a huge week for me,” Evan said. “We’ve got some things I want to do on the court. I’m making a lot of progress and I am on schedule. I’ll be on the court soon. My biggest thing will be getting in basketball shape. I’ll be on the court real soon, though.”
The Clippers have struggled on defense and with rebounding.
Those are two things Evans is adept at doing.
He will be that physical presence the Clippers are missing.
“We’ve still got to know rebounding was our weakness with this roster when we looked at it,” Ryan Gomes said. “We didn’t have a lot of height. We didn’t have a lot of physicalness, but we’ll be getting Reggie Evans back soon.
“And he’s known for being a grit, grind and physical guy down there in the paint and hopefully we can pick up that load right now and when he comes back he’ll be able to help us on the rebounding side of things.”
Billups misses another game
Chauncey Billups missed his second straight game with a sore right groin.
Billups did some work before Sunday’s game, but the groin still was too sore for him to play.
The Clippers have two days off before they play again Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets, and Billups hopes he can play then.
“It’s better, though,” Billups said. “I’m getting closer. We’ve got two days off before we play again, so I should be fine by then, but we’ll just have to see.”
Clippers home in January
The Clippers play 12 of their 15 games this month at Staples Center — one of them is the Lakers’ home game in the area both teams share.
So this might be a good time for the Clippers to put together a good run before they hit the road in February.
“I think it’s all critical,” Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. “You can’t control the schedule. It’s the old cliche: ‘One game at a time.’ ”