The Clippers took a gamble on having just four veteran guards on their 15-man roster, and for the second time already, they have paid a price for their own admission.
They were put in a precarious state when starting point guard Milos Teodosic went down with a plantar fascia injury to his left foot that the Clippers said will sideline him indefinitely.
So now Austin Rivers, who started in place of Teodosic on Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams will see their playing time likely increase.
“You take a risk sometimes,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “In our case, we just decided we were going to go with four guards and then use some of the young guys, maybe. So now he’s out, and that hurts us.”
Austin Rivers suffered a strained left glute during the first exhibition game against the Toronto Raptors in Hawaii. That put the Clippers in an insecure spot for the rest of the exhibition season because he didn’t play in the last four games.
Now here the Clippers are again, down one of their seasoned guards. They are hoping that one of their rookie guards, Sindarius Thornwell or Jawun Evans, can provide a lift when called upon.
“I said that before the year. If anyone of those four guys goes out, that puts a strain on us,” Doc Rivers said. “So, Sindarius or Jawun, one of those two will play. They both are ready, in my opinion. I think Sindarius has a chance to be an elite defender in our league, maybe not right away. I think the minutes will help him. So, we’re just going to plug him in.”
Jazz’s Quin Snyder has history with Teodosic
When Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder walked into Staples Center on Tuesday night, he stopped to have a chat with Teodosic, who was on scooter.
The two have a history together.
Snyder was the assistant coach at CSKA Moscow in 2012-13 when Teodosic was on the team.
The amazing passing that everyone saw from Teodosic before his injury is something Snyder saw a lot of when they were in Russia together.
“He’s a unique playmaker,” Snyder said. “I think he’s just got a sense. He’s artistic in the way he plays the game. You don’t have to watch him for long to see that, as far as some of the passes and creativity. He’s a guy that people like playing with, and couple that with his ability to make shots and stretch the floor, he’s a unique player that can really add a lot to an already very, very, very good offensive team.”