The bright side of Chris Paul’s injury to the Clippers

Chris Paul is out nursing his shoulder injury, but he’s still chirping away at his teammates from the bench and his teammates welcome his input.
“Chris is a coach when he’s playing, so he’s definitely a coach when he’s not playing,” DeAndre Jordan said. “You can hear his voice throughout the game just like he’s out there. I feel like Chris sees a lot of things before they happen and on the bench, he tells us ‘Do this, do this’ and it works.”
With Paul out, Coach Doc Rivers has to search a little deeper for lineup combinations and he’s come across an unlikely one that is becoming a hit.
Normally, J.J. Redick starts at No. 2 guard, then gives way to super sixth man Jamal Crawford. But down the stretch in Wednesday’s win over Washington, the duo was on the floor together and they combined to score 20 of the Clippers’ 29 points in the fourth quarter.
“It’s the first time we’ve been playing together,” Redick said. “Early in the season before Chris got hurt and before I got hurt, there was a lot of splitting time and maybe depending on the lineups down the stretch you may play 4-5 minutes with the guys.
“And at that point Chris and Blake (Griffin) were pretty much controlling the ball in those scenarios. It’s been kind of out of necessity we’ve played more together in the last few weeks. It’s been great, but easy, too. Jamal’s a good player, he makes basketball plays and it’s been easy.”
When Paul returns, he’ll have the ball in his hands at crucial moments but at least the Clippers have the knowledge they have more than one alternative at hand.
“There’s no way you would ever say it’s a bad thing to find different ways to win,” Redick said. “When you get your guy back and you head toward the playoffs and you get in the playoffs, wins are so important.
“So if you can figure out ways now in January when you’re shorthanded or you have off-nights or you’re playing from behind . . . and you pull out victories, those are building blocks.”

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