Saturday, January 4
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Chris Paul has opted to remain with the Los Angeles Clippers after separating his right shoulder, and will fly back with the team following Saturday night's game with the San Antonio Spurs.
Paul was hurt Friday night after tripping over Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis while attempting to dribble around a screen. The All-Star point guard remained on the court for about a minute before exiting the game for good with 6:39 left in the third quarter.
Paul is scheduled for an MRI on Sunday or Monday.
"I'm just going to wait and see," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "I'm worried whenever a guy hasn't done the MRI and all the testing yet."
Paul is averaging 19.6 points and 11.2 assists in leading the Clippers (23-12) to the top of the Pacific Division.
"Health wise, no different, but mentally he's probably better," Rivers said. "He was really down yesterday. Chris is competitive, he wants to play every night, and now that he can't, it's just tough. Now he has to wait until tomorrow or the next day to get evaluated. It's just no fun."
Paul will serve as an official assistant against the Spurs, helping mentor a Clippers team that is without Paul and fellow guard Reggie Bullock.
"(Chris is) in there today, he's going to be one of the coaches," Rivers said. "He's going to help us. He's going to help the guards. I've said it a million times, but we pay the entire team every night, everybody has to show up. Last night was a great example. We were down, came back (and) won a game in a tough atmosphere."
Darren Collison stepped up in Paul's absence, scoring 20 points and handing out four assists to lead Los Angeles to a 119-112 victory against the Dallas Mavericks.
Collison will start in Paul's place Saturday night, but Rivers isn't sure what the Clippers will do beyond that. Los Angeles recently signed point guard Maalik Wayns, but Rivers said the Villanova product is not familiar enough with the team's system to play.
Rivers said he didn't get much sleep Saturday morning, staying up to look over lists of players the team could possibly sign in Paul's absence.
"If they're not in the league, that list is not that great," Rivers said. "I can tell you that, but there is always somebody, you just never know.
"(But) we're not going to do much right now. We're going to wait and see what the report is on Chris and see how Malik is coming along."