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Clippers' Chris Paul focusing on returning to lineup

CLIPPERS FYI

The guard, who was chosen to be a reserve for the Western Conference All-Star team, says he is trying to get back to help the Clippers. Paul has been sidelined because of a separated right shoulder.

January 30, 2014|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers point guard Chris Paul is closely guarded by former teammate and Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe during a game earlier this season at Staples Center.
Clippers point guard Chris Paul is closely guarded by former teammate and… (Paul Buck / EPA )

OAKLAND — To no one's surprise, Clippers guard Chris Paul was selected to the Western Conference All-Star team as a reserve by the NBA West coaches.

Paul, who is out because of a separated right shoulder, said he's aware of the NBA rule that states a player has to play in a game with his team before he can play in the All-Star game.

The timetable for Paul to return had been around the time of the Feb. 16 All-Star game in New Orleans, meaning he probably would play for the Clippers in a game Feb. 9 against Philadelphia.

Paul was shooting, running and working on his ballhandling skills before Thursday night's game against the Golden State Warriors.

"I'm still trying to get that range of motion, just trying to get it out of my mind," he said. "Me and our training staff, we're doing everything possible to get back on the court… Once they clear me, I'll be out there."

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan wasn't chosen as a reserve despite Clippers Coach Doc Rivers' campaigning for Jordan.

"DJ has been unbelievable," Paul said. "I definitely think he's an All-Star. We'll see what happens with me. If I can't go, I would love to see DJ go [for me]."

If he's healthy enough to play, Paul will make his seventh All-Star appearance, fourth as a reserve.

Paul was averaging 19.6 points, an NBA-best 11.2 assists and 2.44 steals in the 34 games he played before going down.

"I think my biggest concern right now is to get back with my team, not the All-Star game," he said. "I'm trying to get back as soon as possible so I can get out there and help the team."

Paul played the first six years of his career in New Orleans and made his first All-Star team in 2008 when he was with the Hornets.

"I always say it's really special to be voted in by the coaches," he said. "Fortunately enough, I've had an opportunity to be a starter, voted in by the fans. But coaches are the ones who know your body of work."

Rivers likes team's progress

The Clippers are in first place in the Pacific Division and have the fourth-best record in the West.

Not bad, as far as Rivers is concerned.

"I don't even know what the negatives are," he said. "I look at our team and I like our team. I love where we're at. I love the adversity. I think it's good for us. I think it'll make us better."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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