J.J. Redick back for Clippers
Redick returned to practice this week after missing the previous two weeks with a left quad contusion. Redick said his plan was to return to action Friday for the Clippers' last preseason game, but after going through practice Monday and Tuesday, he was ready to return to the court, according to Clippers coach Doc Rivers.
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"He had two really good days of practice," Rivers said before the game. "[He] probably did more than we thought. Going into practice, they said he would only go about half, and he went through the entire session. They both were very competitive sessions, so that was good for him."
Redick said he suffered the contusion on the first day of training camp and that during the last practice of training camp, it got to the point that he couldn't play. An MRI revealed a partial tear of the muscle.
"It wasn't serious but significant enough where two weeks of rest was the required time off," Redick said. "It wasn't just a thigh bruise. I probably would have been able to play through that."
He was signed and traded to the Clippers in July in a three-team deal, and is projected to start in the backcourt alongside Chris Paul.
"He's such a pro, so he's going to give you automatic energy," Rivers said. "No one wants to guard him because he never stops moving, and that in itself is an offense for us at times. So I'm really just curious to see how that looks. He's smaller, so defensively I'm curious to see how that looks. ... We'll see. I like it. I like him on the floor. It looks good."
Clippers rookie forward Reggie Bullock also was cleared for his first preseason game after missing most of training camp with a sore right knee. He played six scoreless minutes. Clippers forward Matt Barnes, however, was still sidelined with a sore left calf, but Rivers hopes to have him back on the court by Friday.
"He really hasn't gone into competition at all," Rivers said of Barnes. "We're hoping tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, we'll have three days before the first game."