Chris Paul selected as reserve for Western Conference All-Star team

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Clippers point guard Chris Paul on Thursday was selected as one of seven reserves for the Western Conference All-Star team. It is Paul’s ninth consecutive selection either as a starter or reserve. He is averaging 18.6 points, 9.6 assists and 3.9 assists.

The All-Star game will be played Feb. 14 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Power forward Blake Griffin did not get the nod, neither did center DeAndre Jordan. Griffin’s exclusion was very understandable considering he wouldn’t be able to play anyway as he is expected to be out at least four weeks and as many as six or more with a fractured right hand. TNT analyst Charles Barkley said he would have chosen Jordan over forward LaMarcus Aldridge of San Antonio.

The rest of the West reserves – including Aldridge – are guards James Harden of Houston and Klay Thompson of Golden State, forward Draymond Green of Golden State, forward-center Anthony Davis of New Orleans and center DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento.

The Eastern Conference reserves are point guards Isaiah Thomas of Boston and John Wall of Washington, shooting guard DeMar DeRozan of Toronto, guard-forward Jimmy Butler of Chicago, center Andre Drummond of Detroit and forward-center Chris Bosh of Miami.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 85-83 victory at Atlanta

Jeff Teague, left, of Atlanta and Wesley Johnson of the Clippers battle for a loose ball during the Clippers’ 85-83 victory Wednesday at Atlanta/AP photo by John Bazemore

 

– Under the circumstances, this was one of the best victories of the season for the Clippers. Not only were they still reeling from the Blake Griffin incident, they somehow won this game even though they shot just 38.8 percent from the field, 18.5 percent (5 of 27) from 3-point range. The Clippers (30-16) are now 13-3 sans Griffin, who likely won’t be back until the beginning of March because of his fractured hand.

– Like Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson has been up and down with his shot this season. He shot 3 of 12 in this one, just 1 of 8 from 3-point range. Then again, even though coach Doc Rivers has at times referred to Johnson as “a great shooter,” he has never been that. Johnson is shooting just 41.1 percent overall for his 5-plus years career, a more respectable 34.7 from beyond the arc. Those numbers this season are 42.6 and 34.5, respectively.

– Speaking of Crawford, he was hot in this one, scoring a team-high 21 points on 9 of 16 shooting. Crawford attempted just two 3-point field goals and made one.

– The Clippers did play solid defense. The Hawks shot 43.5 percent (10 of 23) from 3-point range, but just 41.8 overall. Also, the Clippers had a hand in Atlanta committing a whopping 22 turnovers. The Clippers had 11 turnovers.

– Speaking of defense, the Clippers came through with 16 steals, a rather massive amount for one game. Johnson had six of them, Chris Paul had three and Luc Mbah a Moute and Austin Rivers each had two. The Clippers average 7.9 steals per game.

BONUS TAKE: DeAndre Jordan grabbed 19 rebounds for the second consecutive game.

L.A. Sports Council pondering whether to revoke Blake Griffin’s Sportsman of the Year award

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Blake Griffin is slated to be honored as Sportsman of the Year by the Los Angeles Sports Council on Feb. 25 in Beverly Hills.

That may, or may not, still happen.

Griffin on Saturday allegedly punched out Clippers assistant equipment manager Matias Testi at a restaurant in Toronto.

Mark Meyers, a spokesman for the L.A. Sports Council, told this newspaper Thursday that council president David Simon has been speaking to the board about whether to revoke the award.

“There really is no decision at this moment, but we should know more in the next few days,” Meyers said.

Jamal Crawford: ‘Adversity not only builds character, it reveals it’

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers had a really lousy night shooting the ball Wednesday at Atlanta. They made only 38.8 percent of their shots overall, just 18.5 percent (5 of 27) from 3-point range. Yet they found a win to beat the Hawks 85-83.

The victory sealed a 3-2 record on the East Coast swing. The victory Tuesday at Indiana and Wednesday’s were played with the Clippers (30-16) knowing the world had found out about Blake Griffin punching out assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Saturday in Toronto, the day before the Clippers were beaten by the Raptors there.

A victory like Wednesday’s told a lot about the team, Jamal Crawford said.

“I think adversity not only builds character, it reveals it,” said Crawford, who rebounded from two very poor shooting games by making 9 of 16 from the field to lead the team with 21 points. “For us, we’ll not only continue to grow and have each other’s back, we’ll continue to move forward.”

 

J.J. Redick believes adversity can have galvanizing effect on Clippers

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy). Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) shoots against the Indiana Pacers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. The Clippers defeated the Pacers 91-89.

Chris Paul goes up for two of his 26 points in Tuesday’s 91-89 victory at Indiana/AP photo by Michael Conroy

 

Yes, Indiana is now just 23-22 and has lost six of its past seven games. But to Clippers guard J.J. Redick, the Clippers’ 91-89 victory Tuesday at Indiana was a good one, considering the circumstances of the day. It was Tuesday morning when the world found out that Blake Griffin would miss several more weeks because he fractured his right hand punching out team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Saturday in Toronto.

“Any time you face adversity, whether it’s wins and losses or guys getting hurt, it can galvanize you, it can bring you together,” said Redick, whose team will complete its five-game East Coast swing Wednesday evening at Atlanta. “(It) was a good feeling to walk off the court and gut that one out.”

Griffin has missed the past 15 games with a partially torn left quad tendon, though he may have been back for the Indiana game had Saturday’s incident not occurred. He is expected to miss four to six more weeks with the hand injury, giving him a possible return of no sooner than the beginning of March.

 

Five things to take from Clippers’ 91-89 victory over Indiana

Cole Aldrich, left, of the Clippers goes up for a shot while being defended by Indiana’s Myles Turner (33) and Jordan Hill (27)/AP photo by Michael Conroy

 

– Kudos to the Clippers for this victory. They could have gone into it really bummed out about the news regarding Blake Griffin, who will now miss four to six more weeks with a fractured right hand after punching out the team’s assistant equipment manager on Saturday in Toronto. The Clippers are now 12-3 without Griffin since Christmas.

– The Clippers actually made fewer field goals than Indiana. They made 32, the Pacers 35. But the Clippers won this game at the 3-point line, where they made 15 of 37 for 40.5 percent. Indiana made just 5 of 16 for 31.3 percent.

Jamal Crawford continued his up-and-down shooting season by making just 1 of 9 from the field, 1 of 6 from 3-point range. Crawford has now shot 2 of 15 over his past two games, 1 of 7 from beyond the arc. Crawford is shooting 38.7 overall, 32.2 percent from long-distance. His career percentages over 15-plus years are 41.0 and 34.9, respectively.

DeAndre Jordan scored only nine points. But he blocked three shots and pulled down a whopping 19 rebounds in a spirited effort. Jordan is now averaging 13.5 rebounds, second in the league to Andre Drummond (15.2) of Detroit.

– After some recent slippage, Doc Rivers and his players were pleased with the defense they played in this one. The Pacers shot 42.2 percent overall and committed 17 turnovers.