Chris Paul out at least Clippers’ next two games

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Chris Paul strained a rib muscle Monday.

The injury will sideline him at least against the Pacers tonight and Magic on Saturday.

Jovan Buha of Fox Sports:

This will obviously make it harder for the Clippers, who’ve won three straight, to build on their momentum. Paul is one of the NBA’s top point guards, a good scorer and passer who defends well.

This will likely mean more minutes for Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford and maybe even Pablo Prigioni. The Clippers could also temporarily ditch their experimenting with Luc Mbah a Moute or Wesley Johnson as rotation small forwards. There’s more of a need for Paul Pierce and Lance Stephenson‘s ball skills.

More of the offense will run through Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick are solid complementary pieces.

There’s at least a little evidence the Clippers can hold their own with Paul out.

Here are the offensive/defensive/net ratings for four-man units with Redick, Griffin Jordan and…

  • Paul: 112.7/98.9/+13.8 in 331 minutes
  • Rivers: 104.9/101.3/+3.6 in 56 minutes

That’s obviously a big downgrade, but those lineups with Rivers have still been solidly positive. That’s something.

If Paul needs more than two games, the Clippers begin a five-game road trip in Minnesota on Monday.