Two hands are better than one. But one is better than none.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Caron Butler will reportedly start Game 3 of a Western Conference first round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday at Staples Center even though he broke his hand earlier this week.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Butler will start despite fracturing his left (non-shooting) hand during Game 1.
The decision was made after Butler practiced Friday and after he saw a hand specialist Thursday, the sources said. Butler, who is right-handed, did some shooting at practice with a brace on his hand.The Clippers announced after the game that Butler would miss 4-6 weeks. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro started forward Bobby Simmons in his place during Game 2.
Butler was told by the specialist that if he injured the hand any further that the time frame for him to return would most likely remain the same, the sources said.
Butler's injury occurred with a little less than nine minutes remaining in the third quarter of Game 1. Butler was playing defense on Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay on the perimeter and fought through a pick set by Grizzlies guard Mike Conley. He played through the pick as if nothing was wrong, but soon after, as Gay dribbled towards the key, Butler reacted as if his left hand was in severe pain. He played through the injury and scored on the Clippers' ensuing offensive possession but continued to favor and flex his left hand.
Butler left Game 1 with a line of 12 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal on 5-for-12 shooting in 22 minutes.
Butler, 32, played 63 games for the Clippers this season, all as a starter. He posted season averages of 12.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists on 40.7 percent shooting in 29.7 minutes per game.
The series is tied at one game apiece.