Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Caron Butler

Bad news for Clippers: Caron Butler breaks hand, out for playoffs


When things went wrong for the Clippers for the first 39 minutes of Game 1 against Memphis, they went terribly wrong. They were able to come back from most of that and get the win.

But one thing will linger — Caron Butler has a broken left hand and will be out at least a month, the team reports. That will keep another Clipper with playoff experience on the bench (Chauncey Billups is already there). It also robs them of another valuable wing defender to throw at Rudy Gay.

The broken hand happened on a relatively innocent defensive play, Butler went back to the locker room for X-rays then was back on the bench, reports

“I was about to go back in the game, and got the X-ray results,” Butler said. “I told Coach I was ready, and he was about to throw me back in the fire.”

Butler had a dozen points in Game 1. The Clippers have players with the physical tools to step up, but they will miss the playoff experience.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.