The Clippers will be facing the Golden State Warriors without at least two—and possibly three—of their top four guards. Per a team announcement, Milos Teodosic is questionable for tomorrow’s game and Austin Rivers is out.
Starting point guard and All-Defensive first teamer Patrick Beverley, of course, remains out for the season following microfracture knee surgery. Unfortunately for the Clippers, however, the hits keep on coming. Fill-in starter Austin Rivers, who has been spectacular for the Clippers this season, will miss at least two more weeks with an ambiguous ankle/heel/Achilles injury that he suffered in late December against the L.A. Lakers. And now the Clippers’ other opening-night starting guard, Milos Teodosic, has aggravated a tricky plantar fascia injury that has kept him out of the lineup for 24 of the Clippers’ 37 games and limited his minutes when he has been able to go. Teodosic didn’t play in the second half of Thursday night’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Clippers will lean heavily on Lou Williams, as they have all season, to fill the offensive void left by their injured absentees. However, Doc Rivers emphasized on Thursday that he wants to keep Lou off of the ball as much as possible so that he can focus on being a scorer. That will mean lots of Jawun Evans at point guard, as well as spells of Blake Griffin playing point forward. It will also mean opportunities for newly-signed two-way contract guard Tyrone Wallace. Wallace replaced Jamil Wilson as one of the Clippers’ two-way players on Friday, with the Clippers needed guard depth and Wilson nearing the end of his 45-day limit on the roster.
Wallace will be allowed to spend 24 days on the Clippers’ NBA roster as part of this two-way deal. Hopefully Teodosic and Rivers will both be back with the team by then.