By Vincent Bonsignore
MIAMI – There is a first time for everything and for the Clippers Thursday that meant finally having their full roster available for a practice this year.
It took nearly half a season and it occurred 3,000 miles away from Los Angeles in Miami, but for the first time all year everyone on the team. shared the same floor, the same drills and in all but one case the same full-court scrimmage.
“All the way in February. That’s crazy,” Clippers guard Chauncey Billups said. “But it felt good getting those fouls and getting those juices flowing. It was fun.”
Blake Griffin agreed.
“It was kind of weird to have everyone out there,” Griffin said. “But it’s nice; it’s nice to have a full team.”
Billups has missed all but three games this year recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, Chris Paul has sat out the last eight with a bruised knee, Griffin the last two with a hamstring strain and Jamal Crawford sat out Wednesday’s game in Orlando with a shoulder injury.
And before them, Grant Hill was dealing with a knee injury earlier in the year.
Add it all together it equals an injury ravaged team that’s never had its entire roster available at any one given time.
That figures to change soon with Billups looking pretty good for tonight’s game against the Heat, Griffin feeling much better and considered a game-time decision and Paul and Crawford’s status being decided today as well.
The key is all four should be back sooner rather than later, and the Clippers are anxious to see what exactly they’re all about with a full roster.
“I think we all kind of know how good we can be,” Billups said.
Now they want to find out, and it looks like that day is near.
GRIFFIN BEING CAREFUL
Although Griffin practiced Thursday he didn’t participate in the full-court scrimmage session.
“But I did a lot of half-court stuff,” he said.
And felt good doing so.
The key now is how he feels when he wakes up today.
“I just want to make sure it’s not more sore than it is today,” he said.
If not, he could return against the Heat.
“Yes, there is a chance I’ll play.”