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The Clippers know they have a reliable option off the bench. Shooting guard Jamal Crawford has won the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award three times over the course of his career.

But as coach Doc Rivers looks at his shallow bench, he's still searching for man No. 7. Rivers would love to get his son, swingman Austin Rivers, back in a jersey before the end of this first-round series, but it is unlikely he will get the chance to suit up before Game 5.

"I don't think so," Doc Rivers said Friday when asked if Austin Rivers could be ready in time for Sunday's Game 4 in Salt Lake City. "I don't know. I think he probably thinks that for sure. He's feeling better. He's working out. But I just don't see that. I think that's awfully quick."

Austin Rivers strained his hamstring in late March and has been unable to play since.

"It's a tough injury because it's not one you can do conditioning, or NBA conditioning, with," Doc Rivers said.

Austin Rivers averaged 12 points, 2.8 assist and 2.2 rebounds over 74 regular-season appearances. The Clippers would like to add his driving ability on offense and be able to use his size to help defend Utah Joe Ingles on the other end of the court.

"Defensively we miss him a lot," Doc Rivers said. "[But] we have guys that can do that job. We just have to be better on the ball."

Feeling the noise

The 19,000-plus fans at Vivint Smart Home Arena turned up the volume on Friday night. But point guard Chris Paul wasn't worried about that.

"I know this place gets pretty loud," Paul said at shootaround Friday morning. "I'm excited about it. … I enjoy playing on the road."

Doc Rivers expected a raucous crowd, too, though the coach and former player said he's never been bothered by opposing fans.

"This is a great home court and one of the best crowds in the league," the coach said. "But, speaking personally, that never bothered me. I love that. I always felt it was more fun to play on the road than at home. I just felt like, if you could win, the power of silence is amazing."

Best fit

When he was bought out by the Brooklyn Nets last season, Joe Johnson got plenty of calls from suitors.

Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey reached out to the veteran forward. So did the Clippers. In the end, Johnson chose to sign with the Miami Heat for the rest of the season, before coming to Utah in free agency last summer. In hindsight, Johnson might have been better off with a stint in L.A.

"I told [Rivers] it was probably the best fit for me, as far as going and playing with the Clippers, because they needed that position," Johnson told the Orange County Register this week. "That didn't work probably how it should, but I don't regret my decision."

Twitter: @aaronfalk