Chris Paul, J.J. Redick Availability Uncertain For Clippers-Warriors Round 2

On Wednesday, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said his starting backcourt is questionable for Thursday’s marque matchup in L.A. against the reigning champion Warriors. Chris Paul, always in the discussion for MVP, and J.J. Redick, the team’s best shooter, have both missed multiple games in a row with injury.

The contentious rivalry between the NBA’s premiere offensive teams, featuring the game’s greatest lead guards and a collection of the best two-way talents and playmakers in the world, yielded the best game of the early season — the undefeated Warriors held on to beat the Clippers, 112-108.

When L.A. has been healthy, the team has been scoring at a league-high pace and defending just enough, per the norm. But without Paul and Redick, it’s unlikely Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and a band of red-faced reserves can beat the brutal machine in blue and gold.

On Thursday afternoon, however, Clippers fans received good news from shootaround. Paul and Redick looked alright:

The Clippers soul-crushing offense is down compared to the past few seasons without Paul and Redick on the floor. L.A. is third in the NBA, per NBA.com, in offensive efficiency, scoring 104.9 points per 100 possessions. That’s roughly six points below Golden State’s No. 1 clip, and more than five points off what the Clippers produced in 2014-’15 (109.8).

Griffin is crushing it. The All-NBA forward is averaging 26.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, and the team is scoring 109.4 points per 100 whenever he is on the floor. He’s the best passer taller than 6-foot-8 outside of LeBron James, and without question the top passing big man:

Peeking at L.A.’s top five lineups this season, per NBA.com, it’s clear to see with Paul/Redick the Clipper are as elite as ever. Starting Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford the past two games, though, has ripped apart its defensive integrity:

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The Warriors are continuing to blow teams away, and even when they play poorly, like against the Raptors this week, teams just don’t have an answer for Steph Curry’s Michael Jordan impersonation:

Throw in the added motivation Golden State has whenever it plays L.A., and the Rivers better hope his lead guards can get on the floor on Thursday night.

About Joe Mags

The next Sherlock Holmes just as soon as someone points me to my train and asks how I'm feeling. I highly recommend following me @thatjoemags, and you can read my work on Tumblr (thatjoemags.tumblr.com). I am the Senior NBA Writer at Crossover Chronicles. I'm also a contributor for The Comeback, Awful Announcing and USA Today Sports Weekly.

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