Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
There is some good news for Clippers fans: Chris Paul and J.J. Redick might play Thursday when the Golden State Warriors come to town to take on the Clippers at Staples Center.
Tuesday, at the Clippers’ facility in Playa Vista, there was Paul, moving well while shooting around before practice. At another basket, Redick was working on his shot.
The two have missed the past two games – Paul with a strained groin, Redick with back spasms.
Paul spoke in optimistic tones about his return.
“Yeah, definitely getting better,” he said. “First time getting to move around a little bit, so hopefully I’ll get to do something in practice today.”
Will he play against the Warriors?
“I want to, no question,” he said.
Paul sustained the injury in the final moments of the Clippers’ Nov. 4 loss at Golden State. Paul sat out the next game against Nov. 7 against Houston, then played 33 minutes Nov. 9 against Memphis and 35 more Nov. 11 at Dallas.
“I pushed it a little bit in the Dallas game; I chased down a play right before the first half,” said Paul, who did not play Thursday at Phoenix nor Saturday against Detroit at Staples Center.
Paul admitted it has been very difficult sitting and watching.
“It’s been tough, you know what I mean?” he said. “But the one thing we always talk about is the bigger picture.”
Coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t have to argue with the tenacious Paul about sitting out to get healthy.
“No, I think he’s smart,” Rivers said. “He’s gotten older. It’s a sign of maturity, maybe.”
Rivers couldn’t say for sure whether Paul will play Thursday.
“I don’t know yet,” he said. “I think we’re just going to see what he can do (in practice).”
The Clippers will practice Wednesday as well.
Redick has had back issues in the past, and played only 35 games in 2013-14 because of a bulging disk. That’s why he said he quit playing golf over the summer.
“A back can take a day, and you feel great the next day,” Rivers said. “Or it can take three days, or it can take a month and the thing with the back, you always have it; it can always come back.
“When J.J. comes back and he’s healthy, it’s still around the corner. You always know what. That’s just the back. Once you hurt it, you have it. And that’s the bad part about being a guy with back injuries.”
That said, Rivers is hopeful Redick can play against Golden State.
“He’s possibly going to play Thursday,” Rivers said. “I don’t think he’s going to do much today. He’s feeling a lot better and he got some shooting in, but again, with the back you’ve just gotta be careful.”
Rivers said Redick would have to virtually be 100 percent to play.
“If he’s close, he’s not playing, I can tell you that,” Rivers said.
The Clippers are 6-4 after starting 4-0. Golden State is 11-0, but the Clippers only lost to them by four points (112-108) at Oracle Arena.