Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
As soon as Clippers coach Doc Rivers walked into the interview room for the pregame news conference ahead of Game 2 at Toyota Center in Houston on Wednesday night, the question was posed: will Chris Paul play?
“No Chris tonight,” Rivers said.
Rivers said at the morning shootaround he doubted Paul, who is suffering from a strained left hamstring, would be able to go.
“I thought it, but then watching him, no,” Rivers said. “He’s not moving well, so …”
Rivers was asked about his level of concern.
“It concerns me, yeah,” he said. “But again, we have a couple of more days and we’ll see. He’s moving better today than he was, so that’s a good sign. But not good enough to play a basketball game.”
Rivers said the notion that it was easier to sit Paul again because his team won Game 1 on Monday – without Paul – was incorrect.
“No, if he can play, he would play,” Rivers said. “You’ve gotta win four.”
Paul shot free throws and did some work in a swimming pool Wednesday and said he felt good doing that. But he didn’t try to talk his coach into letting him play.
“Nah, he knew it,” Rivers said.
Game 3 is Friday at Staples Center.
“Yeah, yeah,” Rivers said, when asked if he believes Paul will play in this series. “I just don’t know when. I don’t know if I’m discouraged or encouraged about Game 3. But we’re just going to have to take it day by day.”