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CLIPPERS FYI

Team gets chance to practice togetherness

With seven new players on their roster, including starters Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler, they are using practices to try to grow into cohesive unit.

January 04, 2012|Broderick Turner
  • Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro talks with Chris Paul, left, and Blake Griffin during a timeout on Jan. 1.
Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro talks with Chris Paul, left, and Blake Griffin… (Bret Hartman / Associated…)

The NBA schedule is being kind to the Clippers, giving them four days off each this week and next.

Despite the light schedule, the Clippers have been hard at work, taking every practice seriously, Chris Paul said after Tuesday's session.

They still are a new-look team trying to grow into a cohesive unit.

"We've still got a ways to go," Paul said, "because we haven't been together as much [as some other teams]. But we're going to keep working. Like we've been saying from Day 1, we're going to learn how to play together day in and day out and try to win at the same time."

The Clippers have seven new players on their roster, including starters Paul, Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler.

"We have three new guys in the starting lineup that have to learn a totally new offense, a totally new defensive scheme," Paul said. "So we're definitely getting there."

Looking to rebound

Why can't the Clippers rebound better?

That question was posed to center DeAndre Jordan.

It has been one of the constant themes in this young season for the Clippers. They were next to last in rebounding (35.5 per game) in the NBA entering games Tuesday.

They have been outrebounded in all four games: the Warriors outrebounded them, 48-43; San Antonio, 43-30; Chicago, 45-31; and Portland, 46-38.

So what gives?

"Honestly, I don't know," said Jordan, who is averaging 7.3 rebounds per game. "It's not like we don't crash the boards. We crash the boards. Maybe it's just long rebounds, things like that. But it's just collective effort from everybody."

Jones signs

The Clippers signed free-agent Solomon Jones on Tuesday to a veteran minimum non-guaranteed contract that could be worth up to about $750,000. The NBA guarantees all contracts for the remainder of the season on Feb. 10 if a player is still on a team's roster.

Jones worked out for the Clippers on Monday and was at practice Tuesday. A 6-foot-10 power forward-center, Jones gives the Clippers depth.

"I thought that this would be a good opportunity for me to come in and be a great fit," he said.

Jones, 27, is a five-year veteran who played 39 games last season for the Indiana Pacers. Jones has career averages of 3.1 points and 2.6 rebounds.

Billups ready to play

Billups said he would play Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center after missing the last two games with a sore right groin.

He practiced Tuesday, after a light workout Monday, and said he wasn't "really too sore."

"I intend on playing tomorrow," Billups said. "I was so excited to practice today. Everything that we did live, I did it."

--

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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