When the pulled muscles, sprained ankles and other assorted injuries that are just part of the NBA grind hit this season, few teams will be as deep and prepared as the Clippers. They are as deep a team as there is in the league (at least in the backcourt, up front… not so much).
For example, Doc Rivers said Wednesday that expected starting two guard J.J. Redick will be out about 10 days due to a quadriceps contusion — what you and I would call a bruised thigh — reports the Los Angeles Times.
So who gets more minutes? Jamal Crawford and Willie Green. Remember Green was the starter last season and now is relegated to being almost all the way down the pecking order. Those are quality replacements.
Also, Matt Barnes is day-to-day with a sore calf. So that just means more run for Jared Dudley and maybe Reggie Bullock when he gets over his sore knee.
It’s not the backcourt that is the Clippers question mark. They don’t have much depth up front (no offense to Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens intended) and it really all comes down this season to how big a step forward Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan can take under Doc Rivers.
Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.
First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.
Three quick takeaways here:
1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.
2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.
3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.
(Hat tip reddit)
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.