Clippers not concerned with injuries, crowd noise
SAN FRANCISCO — Clippers guard Jamal Crawford has been struggling with a strained left calf muscle that just won’t go away, and now it’s a possible issue again.
It won’t keep him off the floor for tonight’s Game 3 first-round series against the Golden State Warriors, but coach Doc Rivers said he’ll keep an eye on Crawford and Chris Paul, who has a sore right hamstring.
"He’s ready to go," Rivers said of Paul during a morning shootaround. "Jamal is OK, too, but he didn’t do a lot either (in practice Wednesday). Jamal, we knew this coming in. He played two games on it, it’s sore, so we’re just going to see."
Neither player, however, said he was concerned about being limited.
"No question about it, I’ll be out there," said Crawford, who said he took himself out of Game 2 in the second half when he felt it tweak.
"I didn’t do much (in practice)," Paul said, "but I’ll be ready tonight."
The Clippers must win one of the next two games at Oracle Arena or face the prospect of being down 3-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference series when they return home. Oracles is regarded as one of the more raucous arenas in the league, and the Clippers have struggled there, losing five games in a row and 15 of their past 17. Their last win was Dec. 25, 2011.
"I don’t believe in all that crap," Rivers said of the noise factor. "It’s just talk. It doesn’t matter. It’s just like Game 1 and 2 to me. It’s loud. It’s all white noise."
Advantage or no advantage, Oracle is certain to be loud. But, as Golden State coach Mark Jackson said, it won’t mean much if the Warriors don’t play well.
"These fans are the best," he said. "This is the time of year when you embrace them. It’s going to be a great environment, but with that being said, they won’t get a stop, they won’t get a score, they won’t make a free throw. We’ve got to do our part."