Clips’ Paul Wants Back To ‘Happy Place’

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Taking on the defending NBA champions … facing their roster of stars … and their Doberman defense … in their building … on national television … coming off an injury … for a team that’s staggering. Nope, those would not be ingredients of any formula for turning a smile upside down for most basketball players.

But Chris Paul, point guard and MIA MVP candidate for the Los Angeles Clippers, can think of nowhere he’d rather be Friday night than facing the grueling challenge of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Heat in Miami on ESPN (8 p.m. ET). Paul has missed 12 of the Clippers’ past 14 games with a bruised right knee, sitting helplessly by as they’ve gone 6-6 in his absences – 3-6 most recently.

Listed day-to-day on the Clippers’ rather lengthy injured list – with Blake Griffin (hamstring), Jamal Crawford (shoulder) and Chauncey Billups (foot) – Paul was hoping to play in this one. Hey, it’s what he does – or pines to do when on the pine – as told to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

“Anybody who knows me knows I’ve been miserable the past however many games I’ve been out,” Paul said while sitting in a black leather courtside seat inside the Heat’s arena, a bag of ice wrapped around each knee. “Like, seriously. This is my life. This is what I love to do. This is my happy place and when I don’t get a chance to play, I can be a very bitter person.”

Join the Clippers’ club, Chris. Over the past nine games without Paul, L.A. has seen its offense swoon; it has averaged 92.2 points compared to 101.8 prior to the 3-6 stretch, with drops across the board in shooting percentages, steals and assists. As a result, instead of outscoring teams by an average of 8.4 ppg, it has been running a deficit of 2.7 ppg.

How a club does when a star player is absent sometimes is a criterion used in MVP assessments. But it’s a lousy one to endure, both for the team and for the guy who’s out.

Paul has coped with injuries before, so he knows the downside of coming back too soon. After Sunday, the Clippers have two sets of back-to-backs before All-Star weekend and their point guard has obligations for that in Houston. Discretion might suggest extra rest, but it’s facing a formidable opponent in Paul.

“I just need to play,” he said. “I’m very impatient. Very impatient. And I know that about myself. I’d do anything to get back on the court.”

23 Comments

  1. thetruth says:

    who ever thinks clippers can win the championship with or without paul is an idiot, u cant win titles with center who can only dunk and score if someone throw him for an alley oop

  2. Karlo Garcia says:

    With CP3 in the Clippers lineup they r a contender. Without CP3 they r a pretender!

  3. They SHOULD have CP3 back (I hope)

  4. Oh ppl stop crying over what prix said becuz OKC gonna kick their behind come playoff so y talk about them??
    Gaaah!

  5. ganjubas says:

    why u guys even mind this ‘prix’ guy, the kid clearly wanted some attention which he has accomplished. I dont know why sometimes ppl take it very serious the stuff said over internet, cuz u neva know wut were writer’s intentions, whether its sarcasm or play around

  6. PA Lee says:

    With Paul in the line-up, the Clips are a pretend-contender which can flirt with 60 wins. Without Paul, they’re somewhere #6-8 in the West. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand basketball.

  7. OctoPPus says:

    I agree they need Paul – he makes the GAME – that’s the most important factor of all …..

  8. Peter says:

    Once again another dumb comment. If u think the CLippers can win without Paul then u haven’t been watching the NBA recently…smh

  9. Big Al says:

    What the heck are you saying, prix? The Clippers are nothing without Chris Paul. People finally respected this team when he was added to the lineup. When he was out, the losing streak started, including one against the Wizards (seriously?).

  10. Ro says:

    Do you hear the words coming out of your mouth?
    First off, you say he’s not the main man. Then, you say they can win without their main man. So which is it?
    Secondly, they are 3-6 without him on this stretch. So if he isnt the main man, then how come they are doing so poorly without him, when they were #1 or #2 in the league with him?
    Get a clue mate

  11. prix says:

    paul is a good player, but he´s not the main man of the Clipps right now…Bledsoe is doing a great job same with the bench…Paul is like Kobe or Garnett right now…they can win without their main man or sometimes they are the reason why there team lose,..ask Kobe…

    • sunny says:

      you might be an idiot

    • Oliver says:

      Then why have they lost a lot of games when CP stopped playing?

    • nba says:

      Very very ignorant

    • Owned says:

      How can you say that? They went 17 straight WITH PAUL and now they are 3-6 without him. or whatever.. I don’t get ur logic AT ALL. THEY NEED PAUL.

    • HD says:

      Prix, I think Bledsoe is playing good, but the record tells another story. With CP3 they had a 17 winning streak, without paul they’re 3-6. You’re right about Kobe theory, and that’s exactly what you should put into the stats of Bledsoe instead of Paul. Guess you have totally forgotten about the league leading record and winning streak this year with him.

      Obviously, unless you’re only into fantasy game stats, Paul is still the big, biggest picture of the Clips although he has been limited by his injuries in these years.

    • LordP says:

      You better start watching other sports buddy..Chris Paul is the FRANCHISE!!

    • BJ says:

      They just won’t win as many games without CP3, you can tell by the way the game is played. Bledsoe is good, but they need Paul out there to control the game. and he’s excellent at doing that. They are still in the runnings for a ring. but they better be careful, Denver and GSW are on their heels right now.

      • Lebron Fan says:

        to everyone above me and Ro below, learn to read.

        “Paul has missed 12 of the Clippers’ past 14 games with a bruised right knee, sitting helplessly by as they’ve gone 6-6 in his absences – 3-6 most recently.”

        Paul has missed 12 of the Clippers’ past 14 games
        3+6=9………….

        they’ve played 12 games and they’ve gone 6-6 while he’s been hurt. i don’t know how you guys couldn’t comprehend that