Even with Chris Paul out with separated right (shooting) shoulder, the Los Angeles Clippers have run like a well-oiled machine. They're 9-3 with Darren Collison, who backed up Paul as a rookie with the then-New Orleans Hornets in 2009-10, starting in his place since the injury.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Paul is working out though he's not close to returning just yet. Collison will lead them vs. the Wizards at Staple Center on Wednesday night (CSN, 10:30 p.m. ET).
That's somewhat of a relief for the Wizards (22-22), but they have been here before. When the Boston Celtics came to Verizon Center last week and the little-used Phil Pressey started at point guard for an injury-riddled backcourt without Rajon Rondo, he went for a career-high 20 points. The Wizards lost in overtime as Pressey hit a key three-pointer.
So even though Paul scored 38 points on 14 shots in their first meeting last month, that means little with Blake Griffin averaging 26.4 points in his last 10 games. Collison has been efficient, shooting 21 of 37 in his last four games. He has only failed to score in double figures once since Paul's injury Jan. 3.
Back to Paul: “No one said there were any changes or a deadline or anything,” Coach Doc Rivers said, according to the Times. “But he feels great. I still think it’s All-Star break, in that area. I don’t think that changed.
“But he feels good. I know he’s shooting a little bit now. The fact that he can run and do the conditioning is great. But other than that, it still has to heal.”
The All-Star game is Feb. 16 in New Orleans. The Wizards won't have to see the Clippers again this season.