Damian Lillard on Chris Paul, ‘You don’t wish that on anybody’


Clippers Trail Blazers Basketball

Damian Lillard of Portland goes up for a shot over the Clippers’ J.J. Redick during Monday’s Game 4 at Portland, won by the Trail Blazers 98-84/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


Things just got a whole lot easier for the backcourt of the Portland Trail Blazers, what with Clippers’ star point guard Chris Paul being out indefinitely after having surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured third metacarpal on his right hand. Portland’s Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are the beneficiaries.

“I mean, it changes a lot,” Lillard said late Monday after his team tied the Clippers 2-2 in their first-round playoff series with a 98-84 victory at Moda Center in Portland; Paul’s injury was sustained in the third quarter. “More so for them as far as what they’ll have to do. When your bast player goes down, a guy that makes your team go … it’s unfortunate for one of the better players in the league to go through an injury like that, first of all. You don’t wish that on anybody. It’s a part of the game.”

Lillard went on to say that the Clippers have still have good players, but this was before it was announced Tuesday that Blake Griffin is out for the rest of the playoffs after aggravating his partially torn left quad tendon in Monday’s loss. Paul is to miss an expected four to six weeks, which means he’s done unless the Clippers advance to the NBA Finals.

Either way, Lillard said his team can’t take its foot off the gas.

“For us, our mindset has to be nothing changes,” he said. “We’ve got to have the same approach defensively and we’ve got to continue to trust each other offensively and try to just continue to overwhelm them that way.”


Clippers’ playoff hopes appear crushed with loss of their two stars

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With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin out, DeAndre Jordan will have to step up in Game 5 on Wednesday at Staples Center/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


Clippers coach Doc Rivers was not in a good mood late Monday night. No one could blame him. As  he sat on the dais addressing reporters following his team’s 98-84 loss at Portland in Game 4 that ended up being an absolutely disastrous night, Rivers was asked if he had concern that the Trail Blazers had wrested momentum away from the Clippers with their back-to-back wins at Moda Center in Portland, which tied the first-round playoff series 2-2.

Rivers was terse, but respectful, in his response.

“We’re going home,” Rivers said, referring to Game 5 on Wednesday night at Staples Center. “All they’ve done is win two games at home, just like we won two games at home. We’ve been in adverse situations all year with guys out, but guys have come through and I expect us to do that at our place.”

This is exactly what Rivers should say. As a leader, he has to exude confidence, regardless of the situation. That’s why he’s considered to be a strong leader of men.

Still, it’s going to be tough now for the Clippers to accomplish anything real good in the playoffs. As we all know, power forward Blake Griffin has been deemed out of the playoffs by the team because of his still-partially torn left quad tendon that was aggravated in Game 4. Point guard Chris Paul is out indefinitely after having surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured third metacarpal in his right hand, an injury also sustained Monday. This news came Tuesday, the day after Rivers made the aforementioned comment. But Rivers knew it was going to be bad news. His face showed it.

The word “indefinitely” comes from a Clippers news release. Basically, it’s a 4 to 6 weeks thing. That means if the Clippers were to win this series, beat Golden State in the conference semifinals and either San Antonio or Oklahoma City in the finals to reach the NBA Finals without Paul and Griffin, Paul could possibly come back.

Well, chances of that happening with the two best players on the team out, are about slim and none. What’s a shame for the Clippers and their fans is they looked so good the first two games of this series. There had to be hope they could give the Warriors at least a fight next round – especially now that MVP Steph Curry will likely miss the first few games because of a sprained knee.

One thing’s for sure, it will be interesting to see how the Clippers come out in Wednesday’s game. Are they broken? We’ll see.




Clippers’ Chris Paul out indefinitely, Blake Griffin out for rest of the playoffs

Clippers Trail Blazers Basketball

Chris Paul tries to rid himself of the Trail Blazers’ Maurice Harkless during the first half of Portland’s 98-84 victory that tied the series/AP photo by Craig Mitchelldyer


The Clippers received the worst, but not-so-surprising, possible news Tuesday regarding point guard Chris Paul and power forward Blake Griffin.

Paul underwent surgery Tuesday to repair the fractured third metacarpal on his right hand sustained in Monday night’s 98-84 Game 4 loss at Portland and will be out indefinitely. Rowan Kavner of Clippers.com tweeted that meant 4 to 6 weeks, meaning Paul would miss the rest of the postseason unless the Clippers find a way to advance to the NBA Finals.

Griffin aggravated his partially torn left quad tendon in Game 4 and was not able to play down the stretch. The Clippers on Tuesday said he will miss the rest of the playoffs.

Paul had easily been the Clippers’ best player in the playoffs. In four games he averaged 23.8 points, 7.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals even though he wasn’t able to finish Game 4 because of the injury in the third quarter.

The Clippers and Trail Blazers are tied 2-2 in their best-of-seven first-round series. Game 5 is Wednesday at Staples Center with Game 6 back in Portland on Friday. Game 7, if necessary, will be Sunday at Staples Center.


Five things to take from Clippers’ 98-84 loss to Trail Blazers

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Chris Paul, left, is chased down by Maurice Harkless of the Trail Blazers during the first half of Monday’s Game 4 at Portland/AP photo by Criag Mitchelldyer


Chris Paul, the Clippers’ best player, sustained a fracture of the third metacarpal of his right hand. There is no definitive word as of yet, but Paul is likely done for the playoffs. “He’s going to get it evaluated tomorrow, but it obviously doesn’t look very good for him,” coach Doc Rivers said post-game.

– That’s not to mention that Blake Griffin was unable to play down the stretch because his left quad tendon, which is still partially torn, began acting up again. Rivers at first said, “It doesn’t look great for him, either,” Rivers a minute later said he would guess that Griffin might be 50-50 for Game 5 on Wednesday at Staples Center. The series is tied 2-2.

– There’s more. J.J. Redick, who is fighting a sore left heel, shot 3 of 13 (for eight points) after shooting 2 of 10 in Game 3. He told reporters at the morning shootaround that the only way it’s going to get better is if he stays in bed for two weeks. He said it’s going to bother him as long as the team is in the playoffs.

– Portland guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum were the difference in Portland’s Game 3 victory. But they were not overwhelming in this one. McCollum had a nice game with 19 points on 6 of 13 shooting, Lillard scored just 12 points on 4 of 15 from the field. Instead, it was forward Al-Farouq Aminu who did in the Clippers with 30 points on 11 of 20 shooting – 6 of 10 from 3-point range.

– There was one bit of good news for the Clippers. Reserve forward Jeff Green had his best game of the post-season. He scored 17 points on 5 of 10 shooting – 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. He also had five rebounds.

BONUS TAKE: The Clippers shot just 35.7 percent from the field – 28 percent (7of 25) from distance.

Clippers crestfallen after losing Chris Paul to fractured hand in Game 4

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


To say Clippers coach Doc Rivers and his players were bummed out following Monday’s 98-84 Game 4 loss to the host Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center, would be putting it mildly.

Not only the the Trail Blazers tie the series 2-2 with Game 5 on Wednesday night at Staples Center, the Clippers lost Chris Paul – probably for the series and maybe for the season – when Paul sustained a fracture of the third metacarpal in his right hand during the third quarter.

It happened when Paul was guarding Portland’s Gerald Henderson.

“Well, I didn’t see the play, I just know he fractured his hand,” Rivers said, glumly. “He’s going to get it evaluated tomorrow, but it obviously doesn’t look very good for him.”

That’s not all. Blake Griffin’s partially torn quad tendon is acting up again, and he wasn’t able to play down the stretch.

“It doesn’t look great for him, either,” Rivers said. “We’ll see about it tomorrow.”

He said Griffin felt it when he planted on the leg.

“We’re not sure with Blake yet,” Rivers said. “I think he’ll get evaluted tomorrow when we get back. I would say 50-50 on the next game with him. I expect him to be back, but we don’t know that yet. So I don’t want to say much.”

Griffin was asked post-game if he thinks he’ll play Wednesday.

“Tomorrow, I think, we’ll take a better look and go from there.”

The biggest concern was Paul. He has easily been the best player on the team this season, and was having a fine series. Griffin said he spoke with Paul before Paul left Moda Center.

“Yeah, I talked to him,” Griffin said. “I mean, he’s clearly disappointed, upset. But there’s nothing you can do. You try to tell a guy like that that, you know, ‘It’s OK, we got you and it’s going to be OK,’ but he’s a competitor and he wants to play, so it’s tough.

“It’s not easy dealing with injuries, especially this time of the year, so as his teammates we’ll always have his back and we’ll go from there.”

Sixth-man Jamal Crawford spoke in soft tones when assessing the loss of Paul.

“Major, major blow,” he said. “I just feel bad for him personally because I know how much he puts into the game and how much he gives himself to the team. We get Blake back,lose Chris. Tough, tough deal.”

Griffin missed 45 consecutive games with the quad injury, a fractured right hand and four-game suspension before playing in five of the final seven regular-season games.

Trail Blazers lead Clippers 47-43 after awful first half by both teams

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


In a rather awful half of basketball, the Portland Trail Blazers took a lead of 47-43 over the Clippers into the break Monday night in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series at Moda Center in Portland.

Chris Paul scored the Clippers’ first 12 points. No other player on the team scored until Jeff Green made the second of two free throws with 2:07 left in the first quarter. Paul led the Clippers with 14 points.

J.J. Redick missed his first six shots and finished with three points on 1 of 7. Blake Griffin also started slowly and ended up with seven points and five rebounds and Green and Jamal Crawford scored 10 and seven points off the bench, respectively.

Al-Farouq Aminu led the Trail Blazers with 13 points, Damian Lillard had nine, Maurice Harkless six, Allen Crabbe six and C.J. McCollum five.

The Clippers shot 33.3 percent from the field, Portland shot 35.7 percent. The Trail Blazers also committed 12 turnovers, quite a bit for a half.