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So far Vinny Del Negro juggles Clippers' front-line depth easily

Clippers' big men may not get as much of a workout against the smaller Golden State Warriors lineup Saturday.

November 03, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Lamar Odom, usually the first big man off the bench for the Clippers, has averaged 17.5 minutes, 3.5 points and 4.0 rebounds over the frist two games.
Lamar Odom, usually the first big man off the bench for the Clippers, has… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

In the first two games, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro has found a way to play all five of his big men.

It was easy for Del Negro to work in starters Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan along with reserves Lamar Odom, Ryan Hollins and Ronny Turiaf in those first two games because of foul trouble and because of the imposing front lines the Clippers faced.

The challenge for Del Negro will be trying to play them all, especially on Saturday night when the Clippers faced a smaller Golden State team at Staples Center.

"It's going to be different guys stepping up at different times," Del Negro said. "That's what makes our depth valuable."

Griffin, the All-Star power forward, has averaged 32.5 minutes per game in the first two games. He is averaging 13 points and 7.5 rebounds. He fouled out of the Lakers game on Friday night and had four fouls against the Memphis Grizzlies in the season opener.

Jordan, the 6-foot-11 center, has averaged 23 minutes, 8.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in the first two games.

Odom, usually the first big man off the bench, has averaged 17.5 minutes, 3.5 points and 4.0 rebounds.

He's still trying to get into shape after coming off a bone bruise in his left knee that kept him out of practice for two weeks.

"I'm trying to get Lamar in there a little bit," Del Negro said. "He's feeling better. He played a couple more minutes than he did in the [first] game. He's still not back, but he made some nice plays for us."

Hollins is averaging 10 minutes, 2.0 points and 2.5 rebounds and Turiaf is averaging 11 minutes and 1.5 points per game.

"We all just want to play hard," Hollins said. "I know I can play aggressive because I know D.J. has my back. D.J. knows he can play aggressive because Ronny has his back. Ronny knows he can play aggressive because L.O. has his back."

Against the Grizzlies in the season opener, the Clippers had to face Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, two of the NBA's toughest front-court players.

Against the Lakers on Friday night, the Clippers had to face Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, two more top-notch big men.

"It's not just us playing, but it's being locked in," Odom said. "You have to be into the game, I might be in there for four minutes or I might be in there for eight at a time. That's just a compliment to everybody's character, to how much everybody wants it, how they want to do the right thing."

Etc.

Odom gave his teammates a book called the "The 48 Laws of Power," an international bestseller that is a guide for anyone who wants power, observes power or wants to arm himself against power.

Chris Paul said he has started to read the book.

"Lamar, I'm feeling that book," Paul said. "My dad started reading it and tried to take it. But I had to get back. I like it."

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broderick.turner@latimes.com

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