Tag: Chris Paul

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers- Game Three

It’s official: Chris Paul to play, start for Clippers in Game 3

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LOS ANGELES — It was pretty clear after shootaround that Chris Paul’s hamstring was relatively healthy, and he was going to suit up Friday night for the Clippers for the first time in the series against Houston. Before the game, Clippers coach Doc Rivers made it official.

“He’s definitely playing,” Rivers said before Game 3 tipped off, confirming what CP3 had told his teammates earlier in the day. “Minute wise we are definitely going to restrict his minutes. A lot of it will be visually (how he looks), but we will restrict his minutes for sure.”

Rivers said expect closer to 20 minutes than 40 for Paul on Friday night.

Rivers added that they pushed Paul in workouts the last couple days, making it him come off picks, and try to simulate game action as best as they could.

“He had a good workout,” Rivers said. “He probably got his confidence sky high because we had Sam Cassell workout with him. My guess is he scored every time, just like in Sam’s playing days.”

Paul injured his hamstring late in the first quarter of Game 7 against the Spurs. Paul went to the locker room but came back out and gutted out a fantastic performance, a game that will be part of his legacy including hitting the game winner over the outstretched arm of Tim Duncan.

But once the hamstring strain tightened up the next day Paul was sidelined. He sat out Game 1, an upset Clipper win in Houston, which set the stage for CP3 to rest game 2.

In Game 3, Rivers doesn’t want Paul to hold back.

“I don’t want him to hold back, you can’t nurse anything,” Rivers said. “Obviously you have to be smart with it, but you just have to go play. You know that team we’re playing? They don’t care. They really don’t. They don’t care what we have; they are going to attack no matter what we have. So if you’re going to go out on the field, or the wood, or whatever we call the court, you have to be ready to play.”

He said the goal is to have both Paul and Blake Griffin facilitate the offense.

Chris Paul goes through shootaround, tells Matt Barnes he will play Friday

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder

The Houston Rockets had a lot of success in the second half of Game 2 by fronting Blake Griffin in the post and having help from a big behind him. The Clippers offense froze when that happened.

Good luck doing that in Game 3 Friday night — it looks like Chris Paul is going to play.

Paul strained his hamstring in Game 7 against the Spurs but played through it in a game that will go down as part of his legacy, including hitting the game winner over Tim Duncan.

He wasn’t healthy enough to go in Game 1 against the Rockets 48 hours later, and the Clippers upset win in that game took a little pressure off Paul and the Clippers to rush him back.

Paul averaged 19.2 points, and 10.2 rebounds a game this season, shooting 39.8 percent from three, remaining one of the best defensive point guards in the league and the best floor general. He came in sixth in the recent MVP voting.

With him, in whatever condition, the Clippers are favorites in this series. But hamstrings can be tricky and can be easily aggravated and worsened.

Rumor: Blake Griffin to Trail Blazers?

Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge

Then-Clippers general manager Neil Olshey declared of Blake Griffin in 2011: “I can guarantee you he will only ever be a Clipper.”

The next year, the Clippers announced they reached “a deal in principle” to retain Olshey.

A few days later, he became the Trail Blazers’ new general manager.

Could history repeat itself with Griffin surprisingly following his old GM to Portland?

Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears on John Canzano’s Bald-Faced Truth radio show talking about the Trail Blazers:

This is a rumor. Let me say that three times. This is a rumor. This a rumor. This is a rumor.

Blake Griffin.

Obviously, there’s a connection there with the GM. And you wonder, if LaMarcus is interested in the Clippers, playing with Chris Paul. Could Neil Olshey get his old superstar with the Clippers in Portland?

I think you get to a point where – Neil is smart. You’ve got to have a come-to-Jesus meeting with LaMarcus and say, “Hey, do you really want to be here or do you think  you want to go. Because f you really want to go, help us – the same way Steve Nash helped the Suns. Don’t just walk away. Try to help out Portland in the process.”

Spears knows things, which is why we’re passing along this particular rumor. But it seems more like a Portland pipedream than a rumor.

The Trail Blazers could lose LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency this summer, and if they do, they’d surely prefer to remain a playoff team. Damian Lillard is too good to allow Portland to undergo a significant rebuild through tanking. Griffin would keep Portland in the Western Conference’s upper echelon.

But why would the Clippers deal Griffin in an Aldridge sign-and-trade? Griffin is better and younger than Aldridge and would be paid less if Aldridge signs a max contract this summer.

And why would Griffin consent? He’s under contract without a no-trade clause, so he wouldn’t have any formal power to block a trade. But his stature gives him a voice in this process, and it’s difficult to see him wanting to leave a bigger market and better team, especially given all his endorsements. Likewise, Paul has the stature to influence a decision, and he shouldn’t want the Clippers to downgrade at power forward.

Nash helped the Suns, who got two first-round picks in a sign-and-trade with the Lakers. (One of the first-rounders, the top-five protected pick now owned by the 76ers, is more valuable than Nash ever was in Los Angeles.) Aldridge might similarly try to help Portland.

But the Clippers sure don’t have any loyalty to the Trail Blazers, which makes this seem far-fetched at best.