Chris Paul out; Ilyasova playing well

January, 23, 2013
After being held to a single field goal in Monday's loss to the Golden State Warriors, Chris Paul said he felt like he was hurting the Los Angeles Clippers by playing hurt. So on Tuesday, Paul sat out for the fourth time in six games due to his bruised right kneecap.

Paul will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, but apparently the Clippers feel that he needs to rest until the soreness subsides. "It's a pain tolerance thing," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "It's a bruise on your kneecap, and you have to be able to run and move and cut and jump and do things, and it's going to be sore for a while. He's just got to work through it, and we'll get him a lot of therapy. When he's ready, he'll be ready."

While the Clippers aren't projecting Paul's return, the team describes his status as day-to-day. The Clippers visit the Phoenix Suns on Thursday and have a home-and-home set with the Portland Trail Blazers this weekend. Then they have two off days before opening an eight-game road trip against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Jan. 30.

Eric Bledsoe returned to the starting lineup in Tuesday's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though he was only 5 of 16 from the field, Bledsoe contributed across the board, per usual, adding four assists, two rebounds, two blocks and a steal.

Looking Back

• Is Ersan Ilyasova officially back? Illy notched his second straight monster double-double, amassing 27 points, 16 boards and three steals against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. That nearly duplicated his 27-point, 14-rebound, 3-triple showing against the Blazers on Jan. 19. As of Tuesday, Ilyasova was rostered in 63.1 percent of leagues, but I wouldn't be surprised to see that number near 90 percent by the end of the week.

• The cost-conscious Memphis Grizzlies may have found a way to keep Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph at least through this season. On Tuesday, they dumped about $6 million in salary by sending three players and a future first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Jon Leuer. At least two of the players bound for Cleveland, Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington, could see decent minutes. Speights in particular is worth a flyer in large leagues of at least 14 teams.

• You can't say Arron Afflalo didn't do anything Tuesday -- he had nine rebounds and five assists -- but how could he possibly attempt just four field goals in 38 minutes? Afflalo missed all of them and went scoreless against the Detroit Pistons. In his first season with the Orlando Magic, Afflalo is averaging a team-high 17.0 points. He had taken at least 10 shots in every game prior to Tuesday.

Looking Ahead

Anthony Davis wore a brace for practice on Tuesday, but according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, he didn't have much of a problem moving around on his sprained left ankle. From that indication, he seems a decent bet to play Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs.

Luol Deng (hamstring) and Nikola Pekovic (thigh) aren't expected to play for their respective teams. Deng would be missing his second straight game for the Chicago Bulls, while Pekovic would miss his third consecutive contest for the Timberwolves.

• The NBA Fantasy Forecaster for this week makes note of struggling teams, including the injury-ravaged Wolves and the perhaps Seattle-bound Sacramento Kings. It's also getting ugly in Phoenix, where assistants Dan Majerle and Elston Turner have apparently walked off the job in response to the club replacing coach Alvin Gentry with Lindsey Hunter, who had been director of player development. The Suns were already a bad team, and thus a good matchup for fantasy owners. However, with this level of disarray, it's easy to imagine the Suns -- currently 23rd in scoring defense and 29th in opponents' shooting percentage -- offering even less resistance going forward. Phoenix visits the Kings on Wednesday and plays eight of 12 on the road heading into the All-Star break.



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