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 ESPNLosAngeles.com.
“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.
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.
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.
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