PAUL AND GRIFFIN CONTINUE BUILDING ALL-STAR CHEMISTRY
Ten months ago, when superstar Chris Paul first arrived in Los Angeles he was inundated with questions about the seemingly extraordinary potential of his on-court partnership with fellow All-Star Blake Griffin.
Much has changed since Dec. 15, 2011, Griffin and Paul received All-NBA honors and helped lead the franchise to new heights, winning better than 60 percent of its games, taking Game 7 of a playoff series on the road, and advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals for the second time in Clipper history.
Still, the duo is remains relatively new to each other.
Asked about the chemistry between him and Griffin, Paul said, “The only thing that helps with that is time. And obviously we’ve had some time to play with each other, but practice has been great. I think the game situations are going to give us even more experience.”
In addition to the 66-game regular season schedule and 11 playoff games last year, Paul and Griffin were 2012 All-Star starters together in Orlando and spent six days on Team USA before Griffin was forced to withdraw from the Olympics to undergo surgery on a torn meniscus in his left knee. Both players also worked out together in Los Angeles prior to the start of training camp.
For Griffin, having an entire offseason and month of exhibition games as opposed to learning each other’s tendencies on the fly has helped.
“We feel much better about the start of this season than we did about the start of last season,” Griffin said.
“We’re obviously much closer and have better chemistry, so we’re excited about moving forward and continuing to build that.”
During media day on Sept. 28, Paul said he was still getting used to where Griffin liked to catch his lobs. Fast forward a month later and Paul sounds as if they are getting more in tune, saying, “There are different times where he slips or I cut and I sort of know where he wants it and the same thing with me.”
ODOM PRACTICES FOR SECOND DAY IN A ROW
Lamar Odom (knee) practiced for the second consecutive day Tuesday and remains effectively a game-time decision as to whether or not he will play in Wednesday’s season opener.
Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said “We’ll make the decision tomorrow night before the game. He hasn’t done a lot. He’s been out a while. He just got a little practice yesterday, a little practice today and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow and then go from there.”
Del Negro added that ailments to Chauncey Billups (Achilles) and Grant Hill (knee) have depleted some of the team’s depth heading into opening night.
“Our depth is good if guys are healthy,” Del Negro said. “With Chauncey out and Grant out and Lamar and stuff, those three guys give us a lot of depth. We don’t have that right now because they’re out. Hopefully, we can get those guys back and it will change to complexion of our team, no question.”