It is no secret that the Los Angeles Clippers are a worse team without point guard Chris Paul running the show, but the Clips’ scoring effort has really taken a hit since the veteran separated his shoulder on January 3.
Coach Doc Rivers’ team is currently tied for third in the league in scoring, posting an impressive 105.3 points per game. This will soon change, however, seeing as the engine of the Clippers offense is sidelined for another five weeks. In the four games since Paul went down, the Clippers are averaging a paltry 91.3 points a game, 14 points lower than their season average. The 91.3 points a game would be poor enough for worst in the league if it were the Clippers’ season average. The Clips are 3-1 without Paul, but they have only beaten struggling teams, such as the Los Angeles Lakers, and lost in a blowout to the San Antonio Spurs.
The Clippers are missing Paul’s scoring ability as well as his assists and general knack for running an offense. The point guard was averaging 19.6 points a game and can do everything from penetrating and making layups to shooting three-pointers. While the scoring slack can be picked up by other players such as Blake Griffin, Paul’s natural ability to lead and control a game can not. CP3 was averaging a league-leading 11.2 assists per game and his expertise at finding the open man is excellent.
The Clippers have been appearing to hang on without Paul, but his injury prevents the Clippers from scoring at the rate they need to in order to win games. It will be difficult for them to keep themselves in a decent spot for the playoffs if they can’t learn to score while Paul is nursing his shoulder.