Here’s some news from today’s practice (10/05/12):
• Just one hour after practice ended — approximately 2 p.m. — the Clippers were headed to board a plane to Las Vegas for their first preseason game tomorrow night vs. the Denver Nuggets. The Clippers will head back to Los Angeles late Saturday night, practice Sunday, and then depart for their trip to China to play the Miami Heat.
• Grant Hill turned 40 today and is, clearly, still a valuable player in the league. That’s a remarkable accomplishment for a guy who 10 years ago, at the age of 30, was limited to 29 games in the 2002-2003 season because of ankle issues.
“When I was 30, there were some rough moments and a lot of uncertainty related to my career. You know, I’m trying to think, 2002, that was probably my third [ankle] surgery,” said Hill after practice. “I probably missed a second and third season of playing. I try and block out those years mentally. To be able to overcome that and still play, and then be playing 10 years later at 40, is something I’m proud of.”
Vinny Del Negro said Hill was simply resting during Wednesday night’s scrimmage at the Galen Center and added that he isn’t worried about two-a-day practices, traveling or age with Hill.
Despite being the eldest member of the Clippers, Hill said he hasn’t really been teased by his teammates yet. He did mention that he likes to sleep on planes, so expect a special birthday #GotEm by DeAndre Jordan on your Twitter feed.
• Del Negro would not admit who’d be starting at the shooting guard position Saturday night vs. Denver. From the looks of it — Wednesday scrimmage was the best indication — expect Willie Green to get the first nod.
• DeAndre Jordan was the last player to leave practice, working on his shooting 15 minutes afterward with shooting coach Bob Thate. His form is much improved, but taking and making wide-open jumpers in practice is different than doing so in a game environment. It’ll be interesting to see if he takes those shots in the team’s upcoming road trip. Regardless, his arc and time of release look much better. It’s just a matter of confidence.
• Chauncey Billups practiced today in contact drills, the first time since sustaining his injury Feb. 6th in Orlando. There is still no timetable for his return, although it appears he may return before his early December target date.
• Chris Paul practiced as well, but is still limited to very few contact drills, according to Del Negro. There’s no timetable for his return either.
Video interviews from today’s practice:
Vinny Del Negro discusses the Clippers’ upcoming preseason games, traveling to China, resting Grant Hill, and injury updates on Chauncey Billups and Chris Paul.