Notes: Hawes Update, Lineup Mixes, Tough Schedule, More
LOS ANGELES – Spencer Hawes sat out again Saturday, but he’s on the road to recovery.
Hawes said he was told a bone bruise typically takes three weeks to heal up completely, and he got good news after seeing another doctor to get the knee checked out a couple days ago.
“He said the same prognosis,” Hawes said. “Just kind of keep on the rehab schedule. I just did the elliptical for the first time, it felt good. Hopefully see if I can go shoot a little bit and just see how it responds.”
Hawes said the limp is gone and the range of motion in his knee has returned almost completely. He also said he’s “kind of past the stage” of pain when he walks, although it can be intermittent.
Head coach Doc Rivers said Hawes is shooting and running some now and thinks the backup center is a lot closer. For Hawes, it was hard to watch the team lose in Denver while staying behind.
“Oh yeah, especially watching at home from your couch,” he said. “It sucks, sitting there. It’s like anything, when you have no control over it, you stress out more about it. It’s tough, but I think compared to when I did it what I thought happened to what the prognosis is now, I kind of look at it through that lens and think I dodged one.”
The Clippers have had to get creative without Hawes in the lineup.
Inconsistency from the bench has marred some Clippers performances in recent games. To combat issues, DeAndre Jordan has gotten minutes with the reserves, particularly later in games. On Saturday, it was Blake Griffin getting time early in the fourth quarter with the backups.
“We’re kind of playing around with it since Spencer’s been out,” Griffins aid. “Definitely, it’s a work in progress. I don’t think we’ve nailed it yet, but we’re trying. Guys are playing hard. I thought (Glen) Baby (Davis) was great tonight.”
Griffin still played 34 minutes, the same as DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick and less than Paul.
“I sat so long in the first half, it was nice to be fresh in the second half,” Griffin said. “It was a different look with Jamal (Crawford) and Jordan and Baby and those guys. It was nice to get some time with those guys.”
Rivers said the Clippers can struggle offensively with a lineup featuring Jordan and Davis, so this featured something new.
“When Blake’s with one of those two guys, it opens the floor back up,” Rivers said. “The problem is, that’s a great plan, but if Blake gets into foul trouble, there goes your plan. That’s the value of Spencer Hawes, but we don’t have him right now.”
The Clippers are in the midst of a tough stretch, with four games in four different time zones in five nights.
Rivers joked that he hopes every team has a scenario like this one, but he believes situations like this will be eliminated in the future.
“I don’t know if we’ll get rid of preseason games, which I’m pushing for hard, but I know we’re going to extend the season one way or the other,” Rivers said. “I’m pretty sure of that. I don’t have a fact on that, I just believe that. So it’s going to work out.
“I just think, honestly, they did it for the right reasons, because I do believe in a longer break. I think that players should have a longer break. Unfortunately, we decided it after the schedule was done and we realized, ‘Wait a minute, we just cut five days out of our schedule and now we have to condense the schedule.’ It’s a one-time hit. I enjoy when I remind the players it’s their fault, because they complained about it.”
There was a major difference on the floor Saturday, and it wasn’t on the Clippers’ side.
The last time the Bucks played the Clippers last week, Jabari Parker was in uniform. Since then, the Rookie of the Year candidate tore his ACL, which Rivers felt awful about.
“I feel awful when anybody gets hurt, and you know, a Chicago kid, Sonny and I played on the same summer league team, so I’ve known him for a long, long time,” Rivers said. “That was awful, and I knew it right when it happened. At least I thought, right when I saw it. I’ve seen that injury, I’ve had it. That was awful.”
As awful as it was, Rivers has no doubt Parker will bounce back from it.
“He’ll be fine,” Rivers said. “ACL injuries aren’t that significant anymore, except for it’s the same timeframe. But everyone comes back and they play normal. That’s a good thing for him. You know what I was sick about, he was just really starting to get it. You could see the feel. It happens. He’ll be fine.”