With Chris Paul (hand) and Blake Griffin (quad) out for the remainder of the 2016 NBA Playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers are hurting in a major way. The two absent stars have left gaping holes in the lineup at point guard and power forward. It is time for the Portland Trail Blazers to take advantage, but Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune notes that Clippers head coach Doc Rivers is preparing to make do with what he has.
"My job is to make sure the guys are ready and focused. When you have the injuries we have, it’s easy to think of all kinds of other stuff."
Rivers would give only hints about which players will replace Paul and Griffin in the starting lineup.
"We had 10 different lineups on the board today," he said. "Most likely it will be a pretty big lineup, but we’re not sure yet. There’s a big consensus of going really big, and then there’s one of going really small. We’ll have to figure that out."
At point guard, Rivers could go to his son, Austin, a slasher on offense and one of the team’s best perimeter defenders. Or he could go with veteran Jamal Crawford, recently named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year for the third time. Crawford started five games this season, scoring 37, 32 and 30 points in three of those games.
"That’s attractive," Rivers said.
Jeff Green, the 6-9 forward who had his best game of the series with 17 points and five rebounds Monday night, would be the likely replacement for Griffin.
Rivers may choose to go with both his son and Crawford in the starting backcourt and bring J.J. Redick — who is dealing with a sore heel — off the bench. The normally sharpshooting Redick has made 5 of 23 shots from the field in the last two games.
To read Eggers full article, click here. Some have further speculated about the Clippers’ lineup options, but we will not know for sure what Doc has up his sleeves until Game 5 in Los Angeles tonight at 7:00 p.m. PDT.