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Chris Paul sits out practice, says his groin strain is improving

All-Star point guard says he'll be ready to play against the Grizzlies.

April 27, 2012|By Baxter Holmes
  • Clippers guards Chris Paul and Mo Williams (25) talk strategy during a game earlier this season.
Clippers guards Chris Paul and Mo Williams (25) talk strategy during a game… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Neither the Clippers nor their star guard Chris Paul expect Paul to be sidelined when the team opens its Western Conference first-round playoff series at Memphis on Sunday. 

"That's the big question, but I think he'll be fine," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said Friday.

But the Clippers are being cautious with the mild groin strain that kept Paul sidelined during their loss at New York on Wednesday and again during practice Friday at their Playa Vista facility.

"Groins and hamstrings and backs and things like that can be really tough," Del Negro said. "We'll be as cautious as possible."

Paul has been receiving treatment for his injury and said he's feeling better.

"They didn't let me practice [Friday], but I'll be ready [Saturday]," he said.

Paul said he might have been able to play during the team's loss at New York, but it wasn't worth it.

"Possibly, but it was risk vs. reward," Paul said. "Why go out there and do that and possibly not be able to play Sunday?"

Obviously, the Clippers are far better off with Paul than without.

But against Memphis and its "grit-and-grind" pressure defense that leads the NBA in turnovers forced (17.1 a game), his ball-handling abilities are paramount. 

For what it's worth, with Paul as their point guard this season, the Clippers rank second in the NBA in fewest turnovers per game (13.3).

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Chris Paul sits out practice, says his groin strain is improving

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