As the Los Angeles Clippers gear up for their Christmas Day matchup with the Golden State Warriors head coach Vinny Del Negro took some time with Fox Sports Radio on the Petros and Money Show to discuss what it's like to have just two weeks to prepare for a season, adding Chauncey Billups, and the fitness level of his players.
How big of a deal is it that you only have 12 days to get ready for your first game?:
"It is a big deal, but it's also the same situation that everybody's in. So you can't sit back and worry about it. All you can do is prepare, be organized, don't waste any time in practice. ... Some teams are in worse situations than [us], trying to incorporate more players."
Del Negro has the same handicap as the rest of the league, which is a plus, but he also has some new players to incorporate like Chancey Billups and old players who missed most of last season such as Chris Kaman. Luckily, they're mostly all in good shape heading into the season, which is something Coach Del Negro is happy with:
Any concern with any of your guys in terms of showing up to camp unhealthy?:
"We're pretty good right now, to be honest with you. There's a couple guys that could lose a few pounds here or there, but with a couple weeks, that's not going to be an issue."
As for how Billups will fit into his system, Del Negro was confident he can be a big contributor:
Where is Chauncey going to fit in?:
"We'll get him on the court and see how it all works out. All of those guys are going to play a ton of minutes, especially when we've got 16 back-to-backs and two sets of three games in a row and 66 games in 100-some nights. It's going to be a difficult schedule and some good depth isn't going to be anything that's going to hurt us."
Del Negro dealt with a lockout shortened season when he was a player, which hopefully will him prepare entering this season as a coach:
What do you remember about this type of schedule having played in something similar?:
"It is tough, there's no question. The regular season is hard enough in a regular year. This will be demanding. Obviously if one of your key guys has injuries or a setback or something, you might play 10 games in 14 nights and you can't make ground up. It's not easy."
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