Clippers guard Chris Paul lays on the court during the second half of the… (John Bazemore / Associated…)
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.
Del Negro said he will start second-year guard Eric Bledsoe in place of Paul and bring in veteran Mo Williams off the bench.
“We’ll probably bring in Mo sooner than later,” Del Negro said. “Then we’ll bring in Nick [Young] and we’ll just rotate it that way and make it work.”
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