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CLIPPERS FYI

Clippers' Rasual Butler stays ready to answer call

He has played only two minutes since late December and says an ability to be patient helps him get through the situation.

January 19, 2011|By Lisa Dillman

Rasual Butler was a man at work on Tuesday.

His teammates rested. He resisted.

Butler went to the gym and said he made 500 three-point baskets.

"Actually 550," Butler said Wednesday before the Clippers played Minnesota.

That's what you have to do when your role has been reduced, drastically. Butler, a starter last season and holder of the franchise record for most three-pointers made in a season, has played only two minutes since Christmas.

Coach Vinny Del Negro told the swingman that the team was going to go with the kids. Butler was asked whether he knew this might be a possibility when he re-signed with the Clippers in the summer

"No, I didn't," he said. "But you've got to enjoy the journey."

Since he has not played since Dec. 27, at Sacramento, Butler is trying to stay positive and assist in other ways.

(One way was especially creative: He received a technical, from the bench, in the first half against Minnesota.)

Other than that, it is all about practice, practice, practice.

"Just stay in the gym and work hard and be prepared whenever your opportunity presents itself again," Butler said. "It's the only thing you can do. No need to be negative about it.

"It's a good group of guys around here. I've been around a little bit, although I'm still learning. I just started playing the last few years. But from the things that I've seen in my career and some of the situations I've been in, I have information I can share with the guys, especially some of the younger guys."

So, is he a patient guy? Butler hesitated.

"I am. Sometimes you're forced into a role where you have to be patient," he said. "I've been blessed with the ability to be patient."

Etc.

Minnesota guard Sebastian Telfair, a former Clipper, never got to play in a regular-season game with Blake Griffin because of Griffin's knee injury. But he saw enough the summer before last and in the preseason not to be surprised by Griffin's feats.

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

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