Coach Doc Rivers has had to do a lot of mixing and matching this season because of injuries to key players such as Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, J.J.Redick and Matt Barnes. They have gotten away with it, for the most part, as they enter Sunday’s game against the Lakers with a terrific record of 54-23, third best in the NBA.
Rivers is happy about that, but he reminded reporters at practice Saturday morning that the regular season is one thing, the post-season another.
“You don’t really want to do that in the playoffs, or have to do that in the playoffs,” Rivers said. “Teams are all good in the playoffs. You can get away with mixing and matching and having guys out, but it’s hard to get away with that during the playoffs. In the regular season, yes.
“I think it’s good our guys are all ready and available because you do need that in the playoffs. But being forced to do it (mix and match), I don’t think we want to be in that position.”
Right now, of course, the Clippers don’t have all their players readily available. Super sixth man Crawford is out with a left calf strain/Achilles injury that won’t go away. And reserve forward Danny Granger is out with a hamstring injury. Crawford is averaging 18.6 points, so he is really needed.