first_imgLOS ANGELES — Danilo Gallinari couldn’t play in the Clippers’ must-win game Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center, sitting out because his injured right hand was too stiff and sore after he took a hard fall in their loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.“He couldn’t make a fist, so he’s out,” Coach Doc Rivers said.It’s uncertain when he’ll play again. Gallinari was sidelined for 18 games because of a fracture in his right hand and then played in losses to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday and to the Pacers on Sunday. Rivers couldn’t say whether Gallinari would be available to play Thursday against the Utah Jazz.“I have no idea, I really don’t,” Rivers said. Gallinari has played 21 games because of hand and gluteus maximus injuries this season, his first with the Clippers after an offseason trade from the Denver Nuggets. He has averaged 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2 assists in 32 minutes.Productivity hasn’t been an issue for Gallinari. Health has been, though. The Clippers simply haven’t been able to keep him on the floor.Gallinari hasn’t been the only one with significant injuries this season. Patrick Beverley and Avery Bradley suffered season-ending knee and abdominal injuries, respectively. Jawun Evans is expected to schedule a season-ending abdominal surgery in the next day or two. Milos Teodosic isn’t expected back by season’s end on April 11 because of a plantar fascia injury.Rivers has used 33 different starting lineups this season, mainly because of injuries. On Tuesday, he shifted Tyrone Wallace from a guard spot into Gallinari’s power forward position and started C.J. Williams in Wallace’s spot. Wallace and Williams are G-League players who have two-way contracts.“I can only go by my team, but I’ve never seen anything like this, ever,” Rivers said. “You have three of (the top four in) your backcourt out, your frontcourt’s been out. I’ve just never seen anything like it. They’re real injuries. It would be easier if there was one injury and we could say, ‘That’s a problem.’” The Clippers’ list of the injuries is as varied as it is long.“They’re all over the board,” Rivers said. “Who knows why?”It’s not just the Clippers who have suffered. Injuries are up around the NBA this season by more than 40 percent, according to the website Steph Curry and Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors have been sidelined by injuries, plus many other standout players.The Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard has played only nine games because of a hip injury.“It makes me question everything,” Rivers said. “The rest, the no rest, the training. I mean, everything, because guys are getting injured. We still don’t know what it is. We would be foolish to say. I have all kinds of theories and they’re all foolish, but I have them.”The grinding 82-game schedule could be to blame, but it’s been the NBA’s standard for decades. The increased pace of the game could be to blame, but teams averaged more than 100 points for many seasons in the 1970s and ’80s before the league adopted a more defensive style of play.“Guys are faster, stronger, quicker,” Rivers said. “I have no idea. … I don’t think we should over-do this. It could be a freaky year with the injuries or it could be something wrong. I trust we’ll figure it out. Eventually.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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