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Caron Butler gets clarity on his role with the Clippers

CLIPPERS FYI

The forward and Coach Vinny Del Negro agree he should be playing an all-around game.

November 14, 2012|By Broderick Turner
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Caron Butler and Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro have had frequent conversations about Butler's role on the team.

Butler and Del Negro agreed that the small forward has to take his open shots, keep playing defense and improve his rebounding.

Basically, Butler has been asked to play an all-around game.

"I talked to him because I'm a man and I wanted us to be clear on what the role is or what is expected of me," Butler said. "It was clear for me to rebound, do what I've been doing on the defensive end. And the shots that I get, be aggressive and take them."

Butler acknowledged that he wondered what was expected of him.

He's playing only 25.9 minutes per game because he is sharing time with Matt Barnes.

"Knowing what's expected of me night in and night out, it kind of leaves out all of the questions," Butler said. "So, I know that me and Matt split a lot of time. But I know what's expected of me and my time, and I try to be aggressive at times when I get the opportunity. That usually comes in the first quarter and the third quarter."

Butler was averaging 10.6 points and 2.4 rebounds before Wednesday night's game against the Miami Heat.

He was shooting 49.2% from the field, 47.8% from three-point range.

Butler said it's not an issue to play fewer minutes.

"It helps me with my body," Butler said. "I feel great because of the weight loss. It's just less wear and tear because it's less minutes. I think it's really going to help down the stretch going into the playoffs. And that's the big picture, trying to win a championship. So, I'm all for it as long as it adds up to wins and being successful. I'm in."

Griffin working on outside shot

Because he's playing fewer minutes, Blake Griffin has seen his production go down.

Still, Del Negro wants Griffin to take his open shots.

Griffin has worked on a 15-foot jumper, and it's still a work in progress.

"He's doing a good job picking his spots," Del Negro said. "We want his game to expand, because the better he does, obviously, individually, the better we do team-wise."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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