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Vinny Del Negro won’t rule out Caron Butler for Game 4

May 4, 2012, 7:08 PM EDT

Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Caron Butler AP

This is a real long shot, but after watching his team try to slow Rudy Gay last game Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro is good with long shots.

Del Negro said he would not rule out playing Caron Butler, the small forward with the broken hand that was supposed to be out at least another month. Here is the tweet from official Clippers reporter Madelyn Burke.

VDN says not ruling Butler out entirely for Sat, “he’s tough… He wants to play” but adds team has to be cautious, “he has a broken hand!”

Butler’s toughness has never been in question. But this is a broken hand, and even if it is not the shooting hand you’ve got to catch passes, take contact and more. It seems a long shot, even for a guy nicknamed “tough juice.”

The Clippers replace Butler with Bobby Simmons and Nick Young — they can get offense from that pair but the defense is a drop off. And since that is the matchup with Gay, defense matters.

My bet is you see Young starting in Game 3. But Del Negro would love to find a way to make it Butler.

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