Chris Paul on verge of playing all 82 games in season for first time

Chris Paul on verge of playing all 82 games in season for first time
- (Los Angeles Times)

Chris Paul is about to do something that he's never done before in his 10-season NBA career -- he's going to play in all 82 games.

The eight-time All-Star has never played in every game in a season because of various injuries.


"I do feel like it's a big accomplishment," Paul said Monday.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers recently told Paul that he could sit out the team's last two games if he needed the rest before playoffs begin. After the Clippers' third-to-last game of the season, a 94-86 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, reporters asked Paul if he was going to opt to rest during the Clippers final two games, a back-to-back against the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns on Monday and Tuesday.


His response?

"I'm cool, I'll rest [Sunday]," said Paul, who then looked over at his 5-year-old son, Little Chris, who was seated next to him on the podium, and said, "Right?"

Little Chris nodded in approval.

Paul went on to have nearly a triple-double with 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the Clippers' penultimate game of the regular season, a 110-103 win over the Nuggets.


"Chris tonight, you could just feel it," Rivers said. "He wasn't going to let us lose this game."

Paul scored nine of the Clippers' final 12 points in the fourth quarter to put the Nuggets away, and secured home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Clippers are currently in a three-way tie for second place in the Western Conference with the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets.

The Clippers' final game of the regular season is against Phoenix on Tuesday.

Paul said that throughout his career, he has tried to pick up tidbits of advice from his colleagues that would allow him to play an entire season.

"Year in and year out, you learn from other guys, other vets, how to take care of your body, and I try to do that all season long, and I feel fine," Paul said.

Paul, however, went on to acknowledge that being able to play in every game during a season does involve a fair share of luck.

He referenced an injury that he had in January of last season, when he sustained a separated right shoulder in a game against the Dallas Mavericks after he hit the ground after being fouled by Monta Ellis.

"I could have done that 1,000 times this year," Paul said.


Luckily for the Clippers, he didn't.

"I think a lot of credit goes to our training staff," Paul said. "It's tough, tough to play a full season with all of the minutes and stuff like that."

Paul is averaging 19 points, a league-leading 10.3 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 1.9 steals and only 2.3 turnovers a game for the Clippers (55-26), who are hoping to make a deep run in the playoffs this season. The Clippers have never made it past the second round.

When asked how his body felt after sustaining so much mileage this season, Paul smiled.

"Good, I'm cool," he said. "That's the good thing about it."