The Clippers took the court Sunday for the fourth consecutive game and seventh overall without their floor leader, Chris Paul. In their previous three games, they lost without Paul, the latest of which was Saturday to the Portland Trail Blazers. Yet no one within the Clippers organization seemed concerned. They are adjusting to life without Paul, who is out indefinitely because of a bruised kneecap. The Clippers starting point guard injured his knee in a loss to Orlando on Jan. 12. Third-year guard Eric Bledsoe has been starting in place of Paul, a five-time All-Star, and will continue to try and the guide the team out of their recent slump. He got the Clippers on the winning track again Sunday, guiding them to a 96-83 victory against Portland at Staples Center. Vinny Del Negro said the difference between the three games the Clippers won without Paul (Memphis, Houston, Minnesota) and the three they have lost without him (Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Portland) has been a variety of things that went awry, starting with matchups and ending with execution. "There's a lot that goes into it," Del Negro said. "I always concern myself with how efficient we are and if we're improving. Chris is a big part of our team, and Chauncey (Billups) is going to be a big part of our team. "We just have to weather the storm right now and understand we're more than capable of being able to go out and execute on every play, be determined to improve, understand the mistakes, recognize them, admit to them, learn from them and go and play better." Del Negro said not having Paul on the floor, however, does alter his rotation and defense.
Clippers weathering storm without Paul, win by 13
Orange County Register | Jan 28