Clippers’ Doc Rivers: Avoiding injuries could be as simple as playing more basketball

first_imgThe Clippers’ list of injured players is long and varied. Blake Griffin has a concussion. Austin Rivers has an ankle impingement. Patrick Beverley underwent season-ending knee surgery. Danilo Gallinari has a gluteus maximus injury. Milos Teodosic has a plantar fascia injury.They’re not alone in missing key players because of injuries.The Golden State Warriors, the Clippers’ opponent Wednesday in Oakland, have taken to listing most of their top players on their injured list. Steph Curry sat out 11 games because of a sprained ankle and Kevin Durant has missed the past three games because of a calf strain.Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets has been sidelined for extended periods because of knee injuries and adductor injuries. James Harden, Paul’s teammate, is out because of a hamstring injury, missing last week’s showdown with the Warriors. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The San Antonio Spurs have been without Kawhi Leonard for most of the season because of a quadriceps injury and more recently because of a partially torn shoulder muscle. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said earlier this season he’s never seen a quad injury like Leonard’s.“Never, never,” Popovich said.Except that the Spurs’ Tony Parker had a similar quad injury that sidelined him.The list goes on and on around the NBA.“There’s a million theories,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said when asked earlier this week why there seem to be more injuries to key players around the league this season than ever before. “It’s a great question. I wish I had an answer. I don’t have an answer.”center_img Doc Rivers, who likes to joke that Doc is just his nickname and that he’s not an actual medical doctor, then offered one theory.“I wish all of them played more basketball,” he said. “Clearly, that’s not the whole reason, but I just think guys played basketball years ago. Just a lot of basketball. It’s not lost on me that Jamal Crawford is always healthy because he plays basketball.”NBA players are stronger, bigger and faster than when Rivers played in the league with the Atlanta Hawks, Clippers, New York Knicks and Spurs from 1983-96. He said he admires the dedication to their workout routines, but he wonders if they weren’t overdoing it.“Guys now do all the other stuff, which I think is important, but the game they play is basketball,” he said. “When the season starts, they haven’t played. They’ve been doing all the other stuff. Then the season starts and we ask them to play 40 minutes of basketball and their bodies aren’t used to it. That’s my second grade theory.”The Clippers’ injuries have nothing in common. It’s not as if they’ve suffered a string of sprained ankles. For example, Griffin’s concussion happened when the Warriors’ JaVale McGee accidentally struck him in the head during a drive to the basket.It could have happened at any time in any similar situation.Rivers acknowledged he’s just guessing about the reasons for all the injuries, but he does know one thing: There seem to be a lot more of them this season than in the past and it’s made a big impact around the league, and so far no team has been hurt more by them than the Clippers.“Sometimes it’s just freak injuries,” he said. “This year, there’s a lot of them. I don’t know the answer. I don’t have any clues there. These guys have muscles I didn’t even know about, literally, so I couldn’t hurt any of them because I didn’t have any of them.“I don’t know. There are a lot of injuries in our league right now.”last_img read more