At some point, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro hopes, starting center DeAndre Jordan will become a factor in the first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
In the first three games, that hasn't been the case.
"It's really D.J. gets the first look because he's the starter," Del Negro said. "And then as the game goes on, the matchups and who is playing well and the rhythm of the game, sometimes that dictates a lot of that."
That means that Reggie Evans will get more playing time at center.
Jordan was averaging 3.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.33 blocked shots in 22.7 minutes before Monday night's game at Staples Center.
Del Negro said they know exactly what's needed from the 6-foot-11 Jordan.
"Just bring energy and effort," Del Negro said. "He needs to control the paint for us, run the court, do all the things he's capable of. D.J. has had his moments and we're going to need him to play well in this series, especially with as much as they are going to go inside."
Free-throw shooting remains the same — bad
During the regular season, the Clippers were the second-worst free-throw shooting team in the NBA, making just 68%.
Not much has changed in the first round of the playoffs.
Before Game 4, the Clippers were the worst free-throw shooting team in the playoffs, making just 60.6%.
"Whether in the regular season or playoffs, you've got to get up there and make the free throws," Del Negro said. "It puts more pressure in a lot of other areas. We better be very good in a lot of other areas if we're going to expect to miss that many free throws and have success. And guys know that. But it's not like we don't work on it."
Taking the show to China
The Clippers now have become must-see TV, so much so that they now are becoming international.
With the addition of Chris Paul and the highlight reel that is Blake Griffin, the Clippers are scheduled to play two exhibition games in China in October, according to sources who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The Clippers' most likely opponent will be the NBA's star-studded Miami Heat, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, sources said.
Butler still feeling OK
After playing in Game 3 with a fractured left hand, Del Negro said Caron Butler came out of that game feeling fine and that his small forward was looking forward to playing in the rest of the series.
Butler, who was injured in Game 1 and sat out Game 2 after the diagnosis that he would be out four to six weeks recovering, will continue to wear a padded splint that is called a MoJay to protect his injury.
"No setbacks for Caron," Del Negro said. "Obviously he's a tough guy. To go out there with a broken hand, it means a lot to myself, the staff, the organization and the team more or less. Caron wants to be out there and whatever he can give us he'll give us."