According to the Los Angeles Clippers, Matt Barnes will the back-to-back matchups against the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat due to a right thigh contusion.
“We’re going to sit Matt today and maybe tomorrow as well,” said Doc Rivers in regards to the injury.
Eric Patten of Clippers.com reports a knee to the thigh from Houston Rockets’ forward Greg Smith is what caused the injury, with the pain gradually increasing after the game.
In four games, Barnes has averaged 6 points per game on 20.8 minutes a night. He’s struggled quite a bit on the offensive end with his numbers down across the board. Compared to the 46/34/77 split produced in the 2012-13 NBA season, Barnes is shooting 36/30/77. As you may recall, Matt Barnes missed all of training camp due to a left calf strain forcing him to miss all but the final preseason game.
In Barnes’ absence, Rivers will split his time with Willie Green and rookie Reggie Bullock.
“If it’s a small we’ll go with Willie. If it’s a bigger guy we’ll go with Reggie. So, that’s a tough one. Each night, the next two nights, it will be more about who they have the floor than who we want to play.”
Combined Green and Bullock have played a total of 5 minutes, all of whom belong to Bullock. During his time with the Clippers, Green has always been used in emergency purposes, most notably when Chauncey Billups was sidelined with injury for the past two seasons.
For a second unit that has already struggled defensively due to the likes of Darren Collison, Byron Mullens and Jamal Crawford, the loss of Matt Barnes will be huge, especially in Thursday’s game against the Miami Heat. With Barnes and Jared Dudley, Rivers had two perimeter defenders that could be thrown at superstar Lebron James, but with Barnes out, Bullock or Green may draw the task which isn’t ideal.
Here’s an update on the Barnes injury from ESPN’s Arash Markazi, ending speculation of Barnes playing in tonight’s game.
Matt Barnes could hardly walk after the game. I’d be shocked if he can play against Miami on Thursday. — Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 7, 2013