NEW YORK -- Chris Paul will not play against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night because of a mild left groin strain.
Paul worked out before the game at Madison Square Garden and wanted to play, but Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro decided to rest his All-Star point guard so he'll be ready to play against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs. [Updated at 5:08 p.m. April 25: Paul is in uniform on the bench, but he will not play.]
Paul was injured against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
“We want to be smart about it,” Del Negro said. “Obviously there’s a bigger picture here.”
Del Negro understood the severity of keeping Paul out of the game since the Clippers need to beat the Knicks in order to get the home-court advantage in their first-round playoff series against Memphis.
“But I don’t care if you are playing at home or away, if he’s not healthy and he’s not physically ready to go, then obviously that’s the most important thing,” Del Negro said.