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Blake Griffin plays against Spurs despite injured elbow

CLIPPERS FYI

Despite a burst bursa sac in his right elbow and a stiff neck, Griffin plays on Wednesday.

November 07, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • The Clippers' Blake Griffin is defended by the Cavaliers' Daniel Gibson and Alonzo Gee during the first half of Cleveland's 108-101 victory over Los Angeles.
The Clippers' Blake Griffin is defended by the Cavaliers' Daniel… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )

Coach Vinny Del Negro said that the Clippers were concerned about Blake Griffin's burst bursa sac in his right elbow, but that his All-Star power forward was feeling well enough to play against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.

Del Negro said Griffin also had a stiff neck as well from being hit in practice Tuesday. But he said Griffin went through the morning shoot-around Wednesday.

"There is always a concern because Blake is such a huge part of what need to do," Del Negro said. "But his elbow is feeling a little bit better. He'll battle through it and he'll give us what he can. It's early enough and Blake has fought through other injuries before. So I don't think this will be any different. We just have to monitor it and see where he's at with it."

A work in progress

In the eyes of San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich, it takes time for a team to develop chemistry.

He says the Clippers, having just been put together, will need time before they can really work well as a unit.

The Clippers have seven new players this season.

"The Clippers haven't been together very long. Last year they weren't together long," Popovich said. "It's not like they've been together five years and know each other and everything is golden and everything is smooth.

"It takes time for a team to know each other, and they made a huge leap last year and became a very good team last year. They're going to be an even better team this year, but they've got to incorporate the new bodies and roles need to be established. But as the season goes they're going to be even better than they were last year. The only question is how much better?"

Rebounding an issue

The Clippers have been outrebounded in their first four games. They were ranked 28th out of 30 teams in rebounding entering Wednesday night's game, averaging only 36.8 per game.

Griffin leads the team at 8.0 rebounds per game.

"We struggled with it early last year," Del Negro said. "Hopefully, we can amend that a little bit. Memphis and the Lakers obviously have big front lines, but the last couple of games [against Golden State and Cleveland] we haven't performed well.… We have to do a better job on the glass overall, whether it's offensive rebounding or our defensive rebounding."

The Clippers entered Wednesday night's game with 147 rebounds, their opponents 173.

"A lot of times we get caught looking," said center DeAndre Jordan, who was averaging just 6.5 rebounds before Wednesday's game. "Sometimes we rely on our athleticism too much instead of boxing somebody out. But it will get better."

Injury update

Although Chauncey Billups told ESPN on Wednesday that he expects to return next month from surgery to repair a torn left Achilles' tendon, the 6-3 guard and Del Negro said there is no timetable for his return.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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