Clips’ Mounting Losses Are Less Worrisome Than CP3’s Knee

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HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – The Los Angeles Clippers’ four-game losing streak isn’t nearly as distressing as the sight of Chris Paul dressed like Cliff Paul on the bench night after night.

CP3, the West All-Star’s starting point guard, missed his sixth game in the last eight — and third in a row — Saturday night. And once again, the Clippers came away with a loss, 101-100, at Portland. It was L.A.’s fourth consecutive defeat and second in a row where Paul’s crunch-time cool was needed against two teams out of the playoff mix.

But really the losses are insignificant compared to the health of Paul’s bruised right kneecap. He injured the knee in the stunning home loss to Orlando on Jan. 12 when he bumped knees with Magic guard J.J. Redick. He missed the next three games, all wins against Memphis, Houston and Minnesota.

Paul returned on Jan. 19 against Washington, going for 22 points and 11 assists in 35 minutes. All seemed right.

But two nights later in the loss to Golden State, the start of four in a row, Paul re-aggravated the injury and hobbled throughout the game, finishing with four points and nine assists in 33 minutes.

He hasn’t played since.

Back on Tuesday, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro called Paul’s injury a “day-to-day thing.”

“How long, I don’t know,” Del Negro told The Los Angeles Times. “But I don’t want to bring him back and then he’s out again like this time. So we’ll be as cautious as possible and try to work through it.”

The Clippers led 100-91 with 2:38 to go at Portland on Saturday night, but they’d never score again as Portland rattled off the final 10 points of the game. Eric Beldsoe has taken over as the starter with Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jamal Crawford used to help close with Blake Griffin.

“We’ve got to learn with this group without [Paul] to finish games,” Del Negro told reporters after the game. “It was an opportunity for us to finish the game.”

The next one comes tonight in a rare road-home series against the Blazers. Del Negro said after Saturday’s game that Paul is not expected to suit up, saying he’ll have a better idea of when Paul will play once he begins some contact drills.

The sooner the better for the Clippers, who begin a massive, eight-game road trip after tonight’s game. It starts at Minnesota on Wednesday and then takes on a distinctly East flavor including stops at Boston, improving Washington, Miami, New York and Philadelphia.

16 Comments

  1. Poetryselite says:

    So much about the Clippers losing 4-consecutive games (now snapped, thanks to Blake’s strong performance). Then the whole world’s ready to not only remove them from championship contention, but crown them 1st round losers in the playoffs. First of all, the Clippers made it out the first round a year ago with multiple injuries to Paul, a sprained knee to Blake, a broken hand to Caron Butler, and who could forget the achilles tendon injury to Mr. Bigshot? The bench a year ago, was obviously less than formidable. I mention all of this to prove one important point: All those setbacks and they still advanced out of the first round defeating a very solid Memphis Grizzles unit. The Clips are only a 1000 times better this season. Grant Hill’s recent return helps and the one thing people seem to conveniently forget is that our starting backcourt (including the most deserving candidate for MVP in my opinion in CP3) were both out during that stint. When both of those guys return at full strength and Del Negro (whose always scrutinized unfairly, even after being only the 3rd coach in league history to go undefeated in a month) has a healthy roster, then people will see that the Clips’ chances of securing the franchises’ first title isn’t as far-fetched as many would like to believe.

  2. rcg says:

    u still butt-hurt about cp3 not going to the lakers? must be a faker fan. just look at their record! nuff said. lol

  3. Mudo6n8 says:

    Clipper fans Do not PANIC! They are going to play it safe with CP as they should. The Clippers are contenders and will be a team to beat in the final stretch.I dont think that OKC,Memphis ,Golden State or the Spurs are buying any of this bad press. They know the Clippers will be playing hard and to win.

  4. Billy Edward says:

    lol, Clippers 2013 , haters gon hate, Chris paul MVP

  5. Brett says:

    All these haters are Faker fans and nothing more. They’re understandably feeling threatened by little brother this year lol. The 32-12 Clips being jawed at for losing a few when we’re without both of our starting guards, one of which is the best pg in the league…you gotta be kidding me guys. Faker fans certainly must know the value of having healthy superstars after the way their seasons gone right?

    • bigwes95 says:

      it just shows that teh lakers should have gotten CP3 and this is why. the clippers can barely win a game with him out even though blake griffin is a superstar. it just shows that griffen doesn’t know how to actually help a team besides by scoring and getting some rebounds.

      • Clippersfan4471 says:

        Hmmmm, and just how have the Fakers fared with Kobe and Dwight???? Surely they rank as Superstars don’t they???? Oh, and lets not forget about Pau??? Too funny………..

  6. stop listen says:

    I’ve seen a lot of haters here.. Too early to call, let us see after the season end. Let us see when cp3 back healthy, and billups will join the clip mix.. Clippers now out of their right track when their floor leaders were hurt. Leaders, cuz cp3 and billups are all out.. You hater guys pretending to be Nostradamus, making such damn predictions..u feel like it will be the real outcome. Do u guys came from the future?and u see wat happens in the NBA playoff there?, bring me there, then i will vow to wat u r sayin….

  7. Baron says:

    Congratulations, Clippers won the slam dunk contest!! but……..they lost the game. Thanks to Vinny Del Negro’s awkward and lazy rotation. He is destroying Clippers roster. They forget the meaning of playing compatible and hard.

    “Del Negro must be the luckiest coach in NBA”.

  8. Stan says:

    Losing to Phoneix and Now with a 9 point lead and 2:38 left to play the coach keeps the Clippers best defender Jordan on the bench and keeps Odom insead is a big mistake. 100 points was enough to win the Portland game if they played smart and had Jordan instead of Odom. Odom is ok for 16-20 minutes a game during the end of 1st and 3rd and beginning 2nd and 4th. But don’t leave Odom out there during the last 5 minutes of the game instead of Jordan.

  9. bigwes95 says:

    will you please stop trying to take away the credit from the blazers? the clippers had no reason to lose in this game. they just choked and you’re trying to make up excuses for them on to why they’re losing. they have the best bench in the league playing the team with the worst bench in the league. there is no reason for them to lose. if chicago can win without D rose, then they be able to win a coule games against bad teams (portland actually is in the play-off race right now, so where is the proof they’re not). stop making excuses for good teams against bad teams. there’s no reason for it.

  10. Max says:

    Must see Blake Griffin/A.Jordan learn how to take care of the Paint on each end of BB Court! Maybe help from Houston in off season??? They are the key to the success of the Clippers. They have talent, but as of now “raw”! Yes, they are Great at Dunks and yes, they are beginning to see the importance of making their FREE THROWS! But, must receive training experience in controlling the boards. Young! However, each are Coachable. Clippers management should send them to an experienced teacher!!!!! GREAT young talent!!!!

    • Game Time says:

      I agree. There’s lots of young talent on this team to go with the experienced players. I think Blake DJ and Bledsoe need more xp on adjusting their D. Also people need to realize Bledsoe is NOT a starting PG. He is very athletic and can have great games, but he’s not ready to take control of a team yet.

  11. W/E says:

    The Clipers are done, they got zero chance against the Spurs,OKC,Golden state or Memphis, even the Nuggets are a big threat, most possible they will get knocked out from the first round lol.

    • Game Time says:

      LMAO yeah you can hope for that. Clippers getting knocked out by OKC or Spurs 1st round. Are you saying the Clippers will fall to the 7th or 8th seed? C’mon at least make a sensible hating comment.

      • W/E says:

        Nope, i said they will propably lose in the first round from one of these teams – Memphis- Nuggets- Golden state and if they make it to the second round its game over for them there.