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CLIPPERS FYI

Clippers' Ryan Gomes looks for improvement

Backup forward, who is averaging 2.6 points per game and shooting 33.7%, says he needs to play with more confidence to turn things around.

February 22, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers forward Ryan Gomes is hoping to break out of his scoring slump soon.
Clippers forward Ryan Gomes is hoping to break out of his scoring slump soon. (Chuck Myers / MCT )

Ryan Gomes admits he is in a "slump."

A backup small forward with the Clippers, Gomes said his offense has been subpar and that it should be better.

Gomes understood why the Clippers looked elsewhere for a scoring punch off the bench behind starter Caron Butler. He was aware that the Clippers tried to sign free agent J.R. Smith (he signed with New York) and that the team worked out seven players recently.

Gomes, who is averaging 2.6 points and shooting 33.7%, said he understands why Clippers fans and the media wonder about his play.

"I look at it also in a sense that, coming into this year, did I think I would be playing better offensively than I am? Of course. ... What we need maybe in the long run, we need more production out of me offensively, yes, I can attest to that and I can agree to that," Gomes said. "So that's why I think there has been a dip in my minutes and what I've been doing."

Gomes was averaging 14.5 minutes per game before the Clippers played Denver on Wednesday night.

He didn't play against Golden State on Monday night.

But Gomes said he is working hard to improve.

"When you're in a slump sometimes, I'm trying to make a shot so bad it's not like playing free," Gomes said. "I'm not playing to have fun. I'm playing with pressure. Not from anybody else, but from myself. I've got to play with a lot of confidence and just do my job."

Gomes said he understands that the Clippers might try to trade for another player at his position.

"Just like any other business, if the production is not where you want it to be, you try to go ahead and fill the void," Gomes said, "and try to maybe add someone and see what they can bring."

Clippers holding up OK

Through it all, Coach Vinny Del Negro said the Clippers have held up well during the first half of the season.

The Clippers lost Chauncey Billups for the rest of the season because of left Achilles' tendon injury.

They added Kenyon Martin to the team Feb. 3. They added Reggie Evans three days before the regular season started.

They have won some games they felt they could have lost and lost some games they felt they could have won.

All in all, Del Negro will take what they Clippers have heading into the All-Star break.

"I'm pleased with the way the guys have kind of tried to come together with a lot of moving parts," Del Negro said. "I think overall the guys have really stayed together and grinded some wins out for us, which has put us in a good position."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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