Clippers’ Doc Rivers says Rodney McGruder is not close to returning
The Los Angeles Clippers haven’t played to their full strength a lot this season as they’re affected by the injury bug that often. While the latest casualty is not a key player, the fact that a role man like Rodney McGruder is out is definitely affecting their rotation. ClutchPoints’ Tomer Azarly first reported that the Clippers’ energy man off the bench will not be making a return to the hardwood any time soon per head coach Doc Rivers.
Doc Rivers on Rodney McGruder – “I don’t think he’s close to returning…”#Clippers
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) December 2, 2019
McGruder is not a standout player, so it’s understandable if some of the more casual NBA fans would be scratching their heads as they try to figure out who he is. However, die-hard Clippers fans who have watched every Clipper game this season will know that he’s an important component of the team’s rotation.
He’s been getting an average of 17.3 minutes a night, averaging 4.0 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 0.8 assists. While these numbers are extremely underwhelming, Maurice Harkless will be the first to tell you that he brings a lot more to the table than what the stat sheet says.
“[McGruder] brings a lot of energy to the floor. He brings defense. He brings offensive rebounding, gets to the basket, puts pressure on the defense,” Harkless said, per Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Grief. “Obviously, if he can’t play moving forward, it’s going to be another blow to us, but having Kawhi back will help. Other guys have to step up. Terance, Rome probably will play a little more minutes.”
They will surely miss McGruder’s contributions in the coming days, but the Clippers, fortunately, have enough depth in their squad. They should be able to keep on competing as he nurses himself back to full health.