New Jersey guard Deron Williams, right, drives on Chicago guard Derrick… (Rex Arbogast / Associated…)
Reporting from New York — New Jersey's Deron Williams is one of Chris Paul's best friends and both are among the NBA's elite point guards.
The two have been going at each other since they entered the NBA in 2005, when Paul was at New Orleans and Williams at Utah, and they face each other again Wednesday night when the Nets play host to the Clippers at the Prudential Center in Newark.
But, Paul said, that in itself doesn't make it a special game.
"It's always going to be like that," Paul said. "I play the Spurs [and Tony Parker] the next game. Then I come back home against Boston [and Rajon Rondo]. I'm used to this. It don't stop. This is my seventh year of this."
Point taken. The Clippers are facing some very good point guards on their six-game, 10-day trip. Their last three games have been against the Phoenix Suns with eight-time All-Star Steve Nash, Houston with tough young point guard Kyle Lowry, and Minnesota with rookie Ricky Rubio.
Now they face New Jersey and Williams — who set a franchise record when he scored 57 points Sunday — then San Antonio with four-time All-Star Parker on Friday.
"See, it's Steve Nash one night and Lowry, he's a really good player," Paul said. "Rubio, the hype there. I played against him in the Olympics. How many teams you're going to tell me that their point guard is not the star? It's not too many."
When the Clippers return home for a game Sunday, they will face a Golden State Warriors team that has another good young point guard in Stephen Curry, though he's been slowed recently by a foot injury.
Then the Clippers play the Boston Celtics and All-Star point guard Rondo at Staples Center on Monday night.
"This league is driven by point guards," Paul said. "But I'm one of those guys who says it's never a one-on-one game. It's a team game played by individuals. But at the end of the day, I'm trying to pile up as many wins as possible to get to the playoffs."
Stuck at .500
The Clippers are 2-2 so far on this trip, with seemingly a winnable game against the Nets and a tough game against in San Antonio to finish the trip.
"It's big for us to get every win now," Blake Griffin said. "We can't look over anybody, especially the position we're in right now. We've just got to regroup and come out with a better focus."
At issue for the Clippers is that they have been a .500 team (7-7) since Chauncey Billups went down for the season on Feb. 6 with a torn Achilles' tendon.
"You're going to win some games you shouldn't have won and you're going to lose some. We just have to become more consistent," Mo Williams said.