Clippers’ Chris Paul sits out again
Before the Clippers’ game Wednesday night at Staples Center, Chris Paul was on the court working out.
Paul still did not play against the Dallas Mavericks, sitting out his third straight game because of a strained left hamstring.
Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said there was no timetable for Paul to return, just that the All-Star point guard still was listed as day-to-day.
“He’s feeling better,” Del Negro said. “He’s doing all his therapy, headed in the right direction. But we just want to make sure that we get him some work [Thursday] and then see how he feels for Friday and then go from there. It’s day-to-day for him right now, but there’s a process involved that the doctors and trainers have. We’ll abide by that and see how he feels every day.”
The Clippers play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday at Staples Center and Del Negro said they don’t want to rush things.
“We have to be smart about it,” Del Negro said. “It’s good to see guys working out, but I’m more interested in seeing how they feel tomorrow…That’ll be the test, is how he feels tomorrow after doing all the therapy and working out and seeing exactly where he’s at.”
Billups’ minutes increasing
There was a time when the Clippers had four point guards and six guards total — five with plenty of NBA experience.
But as injuries took a toll on the Clippers’ backcourt, Chauncey Billups’ playing time increased.
Billups was averaging 31.4 minutes before Wednesday night’s game against Dallas, the fourth-most on the team.
“I think it’s going to vary depending on how healthy we are,” Del Negro said. “Some nights we are going to stretch his minutes a little bit and some nights hopefully we can get him down so he can have a quality average of minutes for him.
“He’s very important to what we’re doing. He gives us another element out there that’s a problem for the other team. So we just have to monitor that.”
Billups, who was averaging 16 points on 34.6% shooting, has developed a tight back that he is playing through.
When the season started, Del Negro said he had hoped to play Billups 28 to 32 minutes some games, possibly up to 36.
“It’s just depending on who is going well, what the matchups are, how he’s feeling,” Del Negro said. “You have a plan going in, but it doesn’t always mean that you can always execute it.”
Bledsoe making progress
Clippers second-year point guard Eric Bledsoe said he is about two weeks away from playing after missing every game this season while recovering from surgery for torn cartilage in his right knee.
Del Negro said he hopes Bledsoe is ready sometime in February.
Bledsoe said he has increased his activity in practice sessions
“I can’t wait,” he said. “I’m doing a lot of stuff on the court. I’m playing one-on-one. It’s coming back.”
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