CP3 Injury Another Wrench Atop West


VIDEO: The crew discusses impact of Chris Paul’s right shoulder injury

DALLAS – Los Angeles Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul suffered a separated shoulder Friday night and now two of the Western Conference’s top four teams must make due without their stellar quarterbacks potentially all the way to the mid-February All-Star break.

Paul joins Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook on the sideline. The two injuries could shake up what has been a consistent top-four power structure along with Portland and San Antonio for these first two months of the season. After winning two straight without Westbrook, who last week needed a third surgery in eight months on his right knee, the Thunder dropped their last two and were wobbly down the stretch of both games, twice losing double-digit leads to Portland and struggling Brooklyn.

The Clippers led by two points at Dallas when Paul went down attempting to drive around Mavs guard Monta Ellis with 6:43 left in the third quarter. Ellis fouled Paul, who had 19 points (5-for-6 on 3s) and six assists, and he immediately dropped to the floor in obvious pain. He stayed down for a few minutes as he was checked out by the medical staff. Upon getting up he angrily headed to the locker room for X-rays, which revealed the separation. He left the American Airlines Center with his right arm in a sling.

“He’s down. He’s out at least three to five weeks and maybe more,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before backtracking a bit. “We don’t know that, [yet]. We know it’s a separated shoulder. We don’t know what grade it is, yet. We’ll probably send him home, and he’ll get evaluated in L.A., and just hope that’s he’s going to be O.K.”

The Clippers (23-12) were OK for at least this night. Behind Blake Griffin‘s 25 points (11-13 on free throws), 15 rebounds and five assists, DeAndre Jordan‘s 25 points (11-for-14 from the floor) and 18 rebounds and reserve guard Darren Collison, who in his revenge game against Dallas scored 20 points with four assists, L.A. managed to flip a 110-103 deficit with four minutes to go into a 119-112 victory.

It was a big one. L.A., in fourth place in the West and just one game ahead of both Houston and Golden State — and just three in front of eighth-place Dallas — plays at San Antonio on Saturday night. The Spurs are coming off an embarrassing home loss to the Knicks on Thursday night and will be ready to pounce.

By tip-off, Paul will have been back in Los Angeles and re-evaluated. That’s when an actual timetable will come into clearer focus.

Moving forward, the backcourt will belong to Collison and Jamal Crawford. Collison played the entire 18:43 after Paul left with six points and just two turnovers. Crawford, the Clippers’ trusty sixth man who recently assumed the starting role at shooting guard in place of the injured J.J. Redick, played all but 33 seconds of the third quarter and scored six points with no turnovers in the fourth.

“We leaned on each other,” Crawford said. “Obviously, Chris is one of the best players in the world. It’s always disheartening to see him in pain because he cares about the game so much. That’s even  more of a reason to rally around each other, use each other, lean on each other and we poured it out tonight.”

Collison will take over the starting duties at point guard with the crafty Crawford having to fill in as well, but there’s little depth from there and that was a clear concern for Rivers immediately after the game with little time to begin preparations for life without CP3.

“I haven’t given it enough time to think so I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Rivers said. “We may go small more, we may go bigger more. I just don’t know what we’re going to do yet.”

Or where the Clippers will be whenever Paul returns.

“Injuries are inevitable,” Griffin said. “You can’t feel sorry for yourself, it’s happening to everybody. You look around the league, there’s key guys hurt everywhere. So we’ve just got to find a way to get through it.”

28 Comments

  1. bodjee says:

    The ball is moving fastest without CP3

  2. mark says:

    There will be more and more season and career ending injuries in the near future unless the NBA changes their scheduling of games. 4 games in 5 days and the like beg for injuries to happen (because of fatigue). In lockout and strike years, the even more compressed schedule (3 games in 3 nights, etc..) led to a higher incidence of injury. This is a proven fact, not speculation.

    The NBA needs to add a week to the season by eliminating a pre-season game or 2 for each team. Additionally, back to back games should only occur for home teams (lessens fatigue if both games are at home). Also, no team should play more than 4
    games in 7 days and never 4 games in 5 days. There are currently 24 weeks (-1 for the all-star game) in an NBA season. If you add my proposed additional week, each team would play an average just under 3.5 games per week. This won’t eliminate all season and career ending injuries, but it would lessen them.

  3. All Stars - West backcourt says:

    With CP3 and Westbrook out of picture, the options have thinned – but it aint all doom & gloom. Curry should start, with Parker & Lillard as backup. With Westbrook gone, Harden & Dragic should share SG duties (with Dragic obviously being able to play at both the 1 & the 2). My West picks are:

    C = Dwight Howard (Rockets)

    PF = Blake Griffin (Clippers)

    SF = Kevin Durant (OKC)

    SG = James Harden (Rockets)

    PG = Stephen Curry (GSW)

    6th Man: PG = Lillard (Trailblazers)

    2nd Unit:

    C = LaMarcus Aldridge (Trailblazers)

    PF = Serge Ibaka (OKC)

    SF = Kevin Love (T-Wolves)

    PG/SG = Dragic (Suns)

    PG = Lillard (Trailblazers)

    Also: Iguodala (GSW), Tony Parker (Spurs)

    • Slax says:

      All the All Star game is Feb 14th – approx 6 weeks away. The prognosis said 3-5 weeks initially. As it stands now Chris Paul is very much in the running to be a starter.

  4. hopeman says:

    so, all star game

    curry is starter (even if parker is a better player)

    parker-lillard bench

  5. In The Paint says:

    Chris Paul should be ashamed of all the flopping. He’s an excellent player who doesn’t need to be falling into what’s wrong with the game today.

  6. stephisbeast says:

    Flopping finally caught up with CP3. CP3 got a good warning here.

  7. okc2014 says:

    I’m not a Clippers fan but I felt for Chris Paul as he was walking back into the locker room. This is their career, and these guys just want to play basketball. What’s up w/ all these injuries. I don’t think there is anything like it in all the years I have been a basketball fan. This is just terrible and brings morale down on the teams affected. I guess Portland and San Antonio are excited. Get wel: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Al Horford, Marc Gasol, Derrick Rose Rajon Rondo and even Kobe Bryant. I want to see what will happen next with these guys, but we can’t if they are hurt!

  8. Steve Long says:

    freak accident, monta trying to get around the screen, add unintentional before foul so it doesnt seem like you are trying to blame him

  9. Game Time says:

    This is going to be a huge test for the Clippers. I don’t want to see Collison as a starting guard and if only they still had Bledsoe I’d feel not to worried. It was still good to see DeAndre come out attacking the post like a real center and Blake had been solid enough from the FT line in crunch time. If they get a win tonight vs. the Spurs it will be a huge boost of confidence going into this stretch without Paul.

  10. Mark Gasol, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year for the Memphis Grizzlies. He has been out since ten days into the season.

  11. bodjee says:

    Clips will play better without CP3!

  12. mariusv20 says:

    A season with BIG injuries unfortunately

  13. Ry says:

    Russ
    Kobe
    D rose
    Al horford
    Galinari
    Rondo
    B Lopez
    Cp3
    ??

  14. dustydreamnz says:

    C’mon the Spurs. Hope CP3 gets better soon though.

    • Jorge says:

      Yes its gonna be so interesting to se how Collision and Crawford take on Parker and I sure hope they get the win since Clipps are my #1 team. I am looking forward to more time for Dudley and Barnes. NOT GREEN PLEASE DOC!

  15. jim says:

    Big CP3 fan but for the flopping. Clearly Monta bounced off the screener, got legs tangled with Paul and Chris..snapped his head back and did a simple dive and roll. Only.

    You know he’s mad at himself too. Hopefully the foul selling theatrics will stop. You too Harden.

    • Game Time says:

      Imbecile…

    • B-Mac says:

      I agree. I’m not just a CP3 fan but a huge Clipper fan. I’m an old school time of fan and like the physical play of 80′s & 90′s basketball. I know selling a foul here and there is part of the game too but to a certain extent. Yelling and flailing arms in the air should be the most they do. Falling to the ground is just weak and he injured himself doing so. You can’t leave it up to the refs to make the right call so don’t try and sell a call, man up, expect the contact and finish strong.

    • PetrGSW says:

      CP3 is great, but the soccer-like flopping has to stop!