Jan 31, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT
The Clippers have been impressive with Chris Paul out, having gone 10-3 in this stretch (heading into Thursday’s game at Golden State). Blake Griffin has stepped up and his mid-range jumper has become a real weapon, Darren Collison has been solid at the point and the Clipper offense has been the best in the NBA over the last 10 games.
The real question is can they build upon this when Paul returns.
We may find out in a week or just a little more, reports Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.
Sources: Chris Paul is aiming to return on either Feb. 7 (vs. Toronto) or Feb. 9 (vs. Philadelphia). Paul has been out since Jan. 3.—
Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 31, 2014
That would have Paul back before the All-Star Game. He was selected as a reserve by the coaches — as he should have been, he remains the best point guard on the planet — but their were questions about if he’ll be healthy enough to go. If he plays on the 7th or 9th he will be playing in New Orleans on the 16th.
The Clippers are currently the four seed in the West. They came into the season with some people (myself included) thinking they had the potential to be contenders, but their defense has not been at that level this season, not consistently.
We’ll see if they can build on this streak with Chris Paul back — this streak has been carried by the offense being exceptional and covering up a pedestrian defense. If Paul’s return (and maybe a trade deadline tweak) can change that dynamic, the Clippers become a much bigger threat come the playoffs.
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