Newsletter: Clippers! More injuries hit the team as they begin final playoff push
Hi, my name is Broderick Turner, and welcome back to the Los Angeles Times’ Clippers newsletter.
The injuries just keep coming and the Clippers just keep moving forward.
They were staggered again after starting guard Avery Bradley had surgery Tuesday for a hip and abdominal muscle injury that will effectively sideline him for the rest of the regular season.
The Clippers had started a very important trip leaving starting forward Danilo Gallinari back in Los Angeles so he could recover from a broken right hand.
On Tuesday night, the Clippers went to Chicago and carved out a win despite being even more shorthanded.
“Yeah, it matters, but we’ve gone through a lot of injuries before,” DeAndre Jordan said. “I’ve been here a very long time and I’ve seen injuries and I’ve seen guys come in and step up when they’ve been asked to step up. We have a team like that.”
Sindarius Thornwell has increased his role again after an up-and-down rookie season. He has started the last two games and been productive.
Jawun Evans is back from a groin injury. He’s another rookie the Clippers have counted on this season to provide a lift.
“We’re so deep,” Jordan said. “We’ve got guys that can step in and play. I think about a guy like Sindarius, who at the beginning of the season played a lot, went through a spell there where he wasn’t playing a lot and now he’s starting. He’s ready to play every night. We’re lucky to have rookies like that and a team like that where somebody can step in and give us great minutes.”
The Clippers have changed starting lineups all season just to stay afloat. The new starting backcourt is Austin Rivers and Lou Williams, and the new top reserves among the guard core are Milos Teodosic and Evans.
With starting guard Patrick Beverley going down with season-ending knee surgery, the Clippers have had to juggle their guards the most.
“You can’t replace Gallo [Gallinari]. You can’t replace Avery. You can’t replace Pat,” Jordan said. “But what you can do is put somebody in those positions to step it up collectively as a unit. It’s going to take all of us.”
And as a group, the Clippers keep fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference through a rash of injuries.
But all this team knows is battling for everything.
So when Bradley went down, the Clippers took the blow and kept marching forward.
“We just have to stay locked in,” Jordan said. “We’ve got to pay attention to details and our coverages. We just have to keep playing for one another like we have all season.”
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