Clippers' Chris Paul goes against his instincts to shoot more

Chris Paul of the Clippers is a playmaker at heart, but shooting more pays off against Lakers

It seems as simple as flicking his wrist.

Actually, it's a much more complicated sequence that also involves ignoring his instincts.

Chris Paul is most comfortable passing, not shooting, so it can require a conscious effort for the point guard to play the way he did Wednesday during the Clippers' 114-89 victory over the Lakers.

Paul was continually on the attack, making nine of 15 shots on the way to 24 points in only three quarters. It was his most shots since he hoisted 18 during the Clippers' victory over Golden State on Christmas.

"For you and me it's very easy to say, 'Do that,' " Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said of Paul increasing his volume of shots. "For him, he's such a point guard that it's hard for him to do that, but I think hopefully he sees what happens to our team when he does that. Like, it's easier for everybody."

Paul's fellow starters combined to make 22 of 40 shots (55%), in large part because their playmaker was giving the Lakers' defense another prolific scorer to worry about. Paul also made his usual allotment of productive passes, finishing with 11 assists.

He said afterward he intended to repeat his role as a dual threat.

"Trying to come out there every night like that now and just be aggressive and look for my shot and if it's not going, then just keep shooting," Paul said. "Hopefully, eventually it will go in, but [what's important is] playing with that pace and going downhill and being aggressive."

In a pick-le?

Rivers' efforts to improve his roster before the Feb. 19 trade deadline could be compromised by his team's inability to offer a first-round draft pick as part of a deal before 2019.

Boston received the Clippers' 2015 first-round pick as compensation for allowing Rivers to leave the Celtics and Milwaukee will get the Clippers' 2017 pick as part of the Jared Dudley trade if the Clippers make the playoffs that season. The Clippers cannot trade their 2016 or 2018 picks because of NBA rules that prohibit teams from trading first-round picks in consecutive years.

"It certainly is harder," Rivers said of completing a trade without draft picks. "Everyone is stockpiling picks now, the teams that are down, where I don't know if that was true even five years ago.

"When you look at the Phillys and Bostons, they have more picks than players. They have a ton of picks and I think that's been a philosophical change in our league."

Age-old concern

Hedo Turkoglu's recent lack of playing time prompted a question about whether there was something wrong with him.

Not really. He's just getting older.

"He's not the youngest guy on the team, so in games like this [against the Lakers] I don't want to play him because he's been sitting so long," Rivers said of the 35-year-old, who has not appeared in a game since Dec. 27.

"But he's very important to our team. Extremely. And not only just on the floor but off the floor. He says the right stuff, he's one of the guys that the other guys actually listen to and guys like that are invaluable."

ben.bolch@latimes.com

Twitter: @latbbolch

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