Do the Clippers have a chance without Paul?

Keith Anderson
Keith Anderson
Senior Analyst

For those of you who don't know, star point guard Chris Paul suffered a shoulder injury Friday night and is expected to miss at least 3-5 weeks. That's obviously a huge blow for a team built to win now, as they will be forced to rely on Blake Griffin to carry an even bigger load down the stretch. With Paul missing this amount of time, do you see any hope for a Clippers team (23-12) that will likely fall to the number 5 or 6 seed by the end of the season? As of now, they are current owners of the 4th seed and would be forced to play powerhouses such as Oklahoma City and San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs if they fell any further.

Hasad Golden
Hasad Golden
Analyst

This squad is in someways lucky because Darren Collison has been a starter in this league and also has played and thrived behind and alongside CP3. However he's not gonna be able to help them too much. I think they still win games cause they have talent. But if they can't hit 3s then it's gonna be hard.

Blake Griffin is really gonna have to be a work horse. He's had a phenomenal season thus far and he's gonna have to be even better with Paul out till February.

Ethan Pollard
Ethan Pollard
Analyst

I see them possibly falling. Don't rule out Collison as a solid back up though. But there's just way too much talent and this team is essentially what it was before CP3 came. Although I think Blake Griffin is becoming a really really good player as he develops a strong outside jumpshot.

But yes I say they fall a bit. It's not that they're bad. But teams like The Warriors, Mavs, Spurs and Thunder are all having strong seasons which means that the Clips will unfortunately fall.

The Clippers are in trouble!! not only did they lose their best perimeter player/threat and the player that runs their offense, they lose their best player overall and leader

Michelle Mink
Michelle Mink
Senior Analyst

The West will be competitive down to the final day of the season and Clips will be in the mix. Don't think CP3 being out for a few weeks will hurt much. He'll be back in time for a playoff run which is all that counts anyway.

Steve Ausburne
Steve Ausburne
Elite Columnist

A 5 week absence will definitely shift the standings. Paul is a playmaker and a great facilitator. He makes the Clippers a contender for not just the playoffs, but beyond. I don't believe the Clippers are ready to challenge for the title as currently constructed (maybe a year or two away from that), but without Paul, there is no chance. They can probably still make the playoffs with an extended absence from him, but the concern that it could go beyond 5 weeks should have the organization looking at trade options.

Abel Tovar
Abel Tovar
Analyst

You can't replace a player like CP3. I don't care who you put back there. He's the best PG in the league for a reason. The Clips are going to suffer without him because he makes the offense run and he sees things before they happens so he ALWAYS gets players in the best position to succeed. He gets his shooters the ball so that all they have to do is catch and shoot in a single motion and he is the sole reason for "Lob City" and he makes the game easier for his offensively limited bigs.

JCooper Cooper
JCooper Cooper
Senior Analyst

The Clippers are in trouble!! not only did they lose their best perimeter player/threat and the player that runs their offense, they lose their best player overall and leader. Paul is without a doubt the glue to this team and my opinion his loss makes them a mediocre squad in the west.

Abel Tovar
Abel Tovar
Analyst

@Jason Cooper, now we are going to see how good of a coach Doc truly is. He's always had a coach on the court to hold his teams together like the Big 3 in Boston and CP3 here. When he didn't, he failed like in Orlando.

Keith Anderson
Keith Anderson
Senior Analyst

You guys make good points about Collison, he has experience and might be able to hold the fort in place of Paul. However, Paul is a game changer and obviously cannot be replaced. If you're the Clippers, do you put him back in as soon as the doctors ok it, or do you play it slightly conservative and make sure he's 100% before getting back on the floor? A 80% Paul is still better than most players, but is it worth the risk?

JCooper Cooper
JCooper Cooper
Senior Analyst

@Abel Tovar yea if Doc can keep it together with this roster without Paul for a long period of time he is definitely a legit coach. It's gonna be interesting.

JCooper Cooper
JCooper Cooper
Senior Analyst

They Clippers are down by 20 in the fourth quarter right now for example

Abel Tovar
Abel Tovar
Analyst

Ouch.

Mark Bruty
Mark Bruty
Analyst

@Jason Cooper you are spot on. They are really going to miss not just his production but also his ability to lead the team on both ends of the floor, get them buckets when required and set them up perfectly. Paul is the best in the league and no matter who comes in to fill his role - there is going to be a massive drop in production. Collison is good - no doubt, but he is nowhere near Paul in terms of anything. The Clippers can only hope to win half the games Paul is out but I think they will struggle. Will be interesting to see what Rivers can come up with, how far away Redick is and just how effective Griffin is when not being fed superbly.

Aditya Trivedi
Aditya Trivedi
Senior Analyst

Well last night looks like a clear indication that Collison can't keep up with the elite. I mean it shouldn't have been questioned before but now it's definitely justified. No offense to Collison but Paul would've made sure Tony Parker wasn't getting all those cuts.

That being said they've got A LOT of work to do. Don't trade Griffin cause Anthony makes the offense incredibly stagnant. Keep him and just push through till Paul gets back.

Keith Anderson
Keith Anderson
Senior Analyst

@Aditya Trivedi no question about it, it definitely impacts the trade rumors, as Anthony could perhaps mess up their offense even more in Paul's absence. The best thing they can do now is stay the course and hope Collison learns from his mistakes.