Jamal Crawford returns to Clippers practice, reportedly could play Tuesday

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The Clippers have won 10 of their last 13 games, yet they haven’t gotten the respect from all quarters they believe they deserve as contenders. Part of it is that their defense hasn’t been very consistent — they picked up a dramatic win over Portland this week because Chris Paul dropped 41 and they just outscored the Blazers, not because they could get stops.

The other issue is depth. As in they don’t have any.

But they could pick up a little help soon, as Jamal Crawford — last season’s Sixth Man of the Year — has returned to practice following his calf injury. From Arash Markazi of ESPN.

Also, Doc Rivers may return to a well he is plenty familiar with.

Robinson isn’t a playoff answer, but he’s better than their other options (Austin Rivers, for one).

The real challenge for the Clippers lack of depth in the playoffs isn’t minutes as much — you can play Chris Paul and Blake Griffin more — but the lack of versatility. All the weapons that Golden State or San Antonio have is it means they can attack you in a variety of ways, the Clippers are more predictable. That can be trouble in a seven-game series.

In the West, the little things will matter, and getting Crawford back is more than a little thing for the Clippers.