Can Clippers sacrifice egos and minutes?

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Clipper Starter
Posts: 289
votes: 10

Dumbest story this season. Nothing our stars have ever said lead to them coming off unhappy with lack of playing time. If anything, it's the complete opposite.

The Los Angeles Clippers, winners of five straight, started the season hot largely because of their roster depth, but coach Vinny Del Negro might have trouble on his hands as his team regains its health when Grant Hill and Chauncey Billups return from injuries.

More bodies mean fewer minutes, and some Clippers have showed some displeasure about their current allotment. After sitting for an extended time after a fast start against the Miami Heat, Jamal Crawford received a pep talk from assistant coach Robert Pack about his reserve role in the middle of last Wednesday's game. Against Portland earlier this month, Blake Griffin had some choice words for Del Negro about sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter, according to a source. Even Chris Paul is lukewarm about playing 32 minutes a game, which would be a career low for him.

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Clippers are off to a solid 7-2 start this season. (Reuters)

"I want to play," Paul said. "But it is fun sitting over there and watching those guys play. I like being a cheerleader at times. It is a long season."

[Related: Darko Milicic considers leaving NBA for Europe]

Del Negro knows he has work to do.

"We are a deep team," Del Negro said. "Even now we are deep without a few guys, a couple main guys out. It's about sacrifice and what's best for the team. We will with those deal things as they come."

Billups, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury last February, is listed as day-to-day. He has said he could return in December. Once back, expect Billups to eventually win his starting job back from Willie Green considering how well he played with Paul last season in 20 games, where he averaged 15.5 points and 5.5 assists.

Hill is out with a bone bruise in the right knee suffered in the preseason. While listed as day-to-day, sources said the Clippers have told the 40-year-old to take his time coming back due to their deep bench. Hill, who averaged 10.2 points as a starter for the Phoenix Suns last season, will take away minutes from forwards Caron Butler, Matt Barnes and a still rounding into shape Lamar Odom.

Del Negro acknowledges he can't keep everyone happy. That ultimately will fall on the shoulders of the Clippers' best players, namely Paul, who believes this group has what it takes to be title contenders.

"As long as everyone buys in � " Paul said. "It's not about me. It's about we. I think starting with me and Blake, if we are willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the team, then everybody else will fall in."

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Marc J. Spears



Marc Spears covers the NBA for Yahoo! Sports. He previously has written for the Boston Globe and Denver Post.

Posts: 5079
votes: 13

Where do they come up with this sht?

Clipper Starter
Posts: 289
votes: 10

Here's some quotes from Eric Patten's story that says otherwise:

"We got off to slow start, down 10, and our bench," Paul said before pausing briefly. "That's what it's always about."

"That's why I keep telling ya'll, man, your locker room makes a huge difference," Paul said. "You've got to have professionals. Ronny's not sitting over there on the bench pouting. He's cheering, being a great teammate and when his number's called, he's ready to go."

"When you see somebody not complain and not get as much playing time as maybe they would like and they just don't complain, they go out the next game and do what we need them to do," Griffin said. "It makes you play at another level."

"We have a lot of talent, but we have guys that are smart," Griffin said. "We have veteran players and on this team playing time's tough, it's hard to split it around. But if you stay ready, then you're going to have nights like that and that's what wins games."

"On the bench I said, 'That's a true professional, right there,'" Blake Griffin said. "He didn't play much the last two games and came in at a critical time: putback, putback, rebounds, blocks, that's tough to do."

Clipper All-Star
Posts: 2064
votes: 16

Someone already post this.

Clipper All-Star
Posts: 1808
votes: 10

^ ME!

Posts: 5725
Location: The Darkside
votes: 45

It is a dumb story. Our junior Gm (CP3) didn't hand pick these guys because he wanted the biggest egos in the NBA to fight for time,,he picked them because he knew they would all add something to our team and would forgo their egos to win a ring. Of course that is how I see it.

Clipper 6th Man
Posts: 116
votes: 1

Please, this is crap

Winning is fun, and last time I checked we are winning

I love the fact CP3 is playing about 30 minutes, this will be huge come playoffs.

Posts: 5079
votes: 13

Yeah so again where do they come up with this sht?

Clipper All-Star
Posts: 2345
Location: West Coast
votes: 21


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