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Vinny Del Negro says he will manage playing time of injured stars in Game 1

With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin nursing injuries, Del Negro will be paying close attention to their playing time.

May 15, 2012|By Matt Stevens
  • Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro instructs his players during their Game 7 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.
Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro instructs his players during their Game… (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images )

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SAN ANTONIO – In what’s becoming his pregame mantra, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said he will once have to again wait and see.

With multiple starters, including Blake Griffin and Chris Paul nursing injuries, the coach said he will “manage” the minutes of the two stars, keeping in mind that this is only Game 1 of a seven-game series.

“We’re banged up, but we can’t worry about that right now,” Del Negro said prior to tipoff against the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night. “It’s a series, this is the first game of it, and we’ve got to feel it out a little bit.”

Both teams will have to make adjustments early. The Clippers played a more physical Memphis Grizzles team in the first round while the Spurs made short work of a Utah Jazz team that relied on points in the paint.

Each coach has expressed concern about the other team’s outside shooting, and Del Negro said the Clippers have to be particularly careful against the Spurs’ second unit, led by guards Manu Ginobili and Gary Neal.

“They spread you out,” Del Negro said. “They shoot it so well. … We have to be able to flip the page from the last series to this one, because it’s completely a different kind of flow.”

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