Over on the mothership, Kevin Arnovitz reflects on the growth of the Clippers this season and how Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Doc Rivers are all expanding to fill their role in Los Angeles.
Rivers hasn’t solved every riddle, not as Clippers coach or as vice president of basketball operations. He’ll admit as much. Asked on Monday if he had a grasp yet on how Paul’s absence would affect the Clippers’ style of play, Rivers confessed, “I don’t know yet, honestly.” He explained that the Clippers’ offense was predicated on finding things only Paul could see.
One can imagine the reaction to Del Negro if he suggested he didn’t have a full sense of how the Clippers would operate offensively without his point guard. Somehow Rivers’ uncertainty inspires confidence, as if his sincerity alone could pull the Clippers through until Paul returns.
The Clippers are likely to lose a couple of games they would’ve won were Paul on the court, but the team seems to have enough confidence and accountability — and a manageable schedule — to withstand a slide. J.J. Redick will be back on the court soon, possibly Friday, an addition that will allow the Clippers to reignite the movement in the offense. Paul will still be missed, but it’s no longer quiet in his absence.