A funny thing happened when Chris Paul got injured. The Los Angeles Clippers bench, which was the envy of the entire NBA in terms of depth and productivity during the first half of the season, gradually became completely ineffective. Obviously the loss of a superstar of Paul's magnitude (and he is, after all, widely considered third in the MVP race this season behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant) is going to impact any team adversely in myriad ways. But if the Clippers are really so deep, shouldn't the bench have been able to remain somewhat effective even without Paul? After all, it's not as if Paul was playing with the second unit. The Clippers have played a dozen games since Paul was first injured. He actually started in two of those games, but was clearly limited in those appearances. The team is 6-6 in the 12 games since the injury, 5-5 in the ten without Paul, and 2-5 in their last seven without him. There was a brief honeymoon period when he first went down. Perhaps similar to what is happening in Boston right now as the Celtics have won four straight without Rajon Rondo, everyone on the team stepped up in the immediate aftermath of Paul's injury and the Clippers went out and won three straight road games, including an impressive drubbing of the Grizzlies in Memphis. But reality set in somewhere in the third game without CP3, and the team has really been out of sorts ever since.
What's wrong with the Clippers bench?
Clips Nation | Feb 4