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Matt Barnes is playing a significant role with the Clippers

Reserve forward is averaging 25.2 minutes per game, the third highest of his nine-year career, and says he is having a lot fun.

December 12, 2012|By Broderick Turner
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — These are good times for Clippers forward Matt Barnes.

He's playing on a winning team and he's playing a significant role off the bench.

His 25.2 minutes per game is the third highest of his nine-year career. He's averaging 8.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

"So far, behind that Golden State season, this is the most fun I've had with the collective group of guys like this," said Barnes, who played with the Warriors in 2006-07 and 2007-08. "And we're playing good basketball. So that's a bonus."

The Clippers really don't run any plays for Barnes, who tied his season high of 19 points by scoring 11 in the fourth quarter Wednesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats.

He just seamlessly fits into whatever they do.

"I just want to change the tempo of the game," Barnes said. "I think that's where I'm most effective at, is changing the tempo of the game through our defense. Jamal [Crawford] is the leader of our team scoring and our second unit. Myself, [Eric] Bledsoe, Lamar [Odom], Ronny [Turiaf], we have a lot of different options out there. We just go out there and play hard."

Coach Vinny Del Negro said he's not surprised by Barnes' play.

"What I'm most pleased with is that something is going to happen out there when he's out there on the court," Del Negro said. "He fills up the stat line. He gives us a lot of intangibles that sometimes don't show up on the stat sheet."

Rebounding needs improvement

The Clippers have made an effort to become a better rebounding team.

But Del Negro said they still can get better.

It's something that is talked about all the time.

They are averaging 40.5 rebounds per game, 23rd best in the NBA.

"The rebounding is one of the biggest things for us," Del Negro said. "We've watched film on it. We recognize those things. Talking about it is one thing, but you have to go out there and you have to go get the ball. And we have to be more consistent there."

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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