Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul is unlikely to return this season, barring a better prognosis from new X-rays after swelling has subsided following surgery to repair a right hand fracture, sources told ESPN's J.A. Adande.
Everyone knows Paul is important. But just how important? And what does his injury mean moving forward?
Paul is the Clippers offense
Paul’s on/off splits are staggering.
During the regular season, the Clippers outscored opponents by 11.9 points per 100 possessions with Paul on the floor and were outscored by 4.7 points per 100 possessions with him off the floor. That's a swing in net efficiency of 16.6 points per 100 possessions. The only players with a bigger swing are Draymond Green (26.0) and Stephen Curry (22.1).
In terms of simple plus-minus, Paul was a part of the top eight Clippers 5-man lineups this season.
Redick and Jordan will miss Paul, a lot
With no Paul, it will be primarily up to Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers and Pablo Prigioni to get J.J. Redick looks. Redick attempted 290 catch-and-shoots off of passes from Paul and made 48 percent of them this season.
Redick attempted 17 catch-and-shoots combined off of passes from guards Crawford, Rivers and Prigioni and made only five of them. (To demonstrate Paul’s assist proficiency, Redick did not attempt even 50 catch-and-shoots off of passes from any other Clippers player, regardless of position.)
If Paul is out, the Clippers would be without the most prolific 3-point creating tandem in the NBA. No combination combined for more made 3-pointers off passes from a teammate than Redick from Paul (112).
Similar to Redick, DeAndre Jordan scored a vast majority of his baskets off passes from Paul, 158 in total, which is over three times the amount from any other Clippers player.
The Paul-to-Jordan combination was also the most efficient shooting combination in the NBA. Jordan had an effective field goal percentage of 78 percent on passes from Paul, the best by any combination in the NBA.
Griffin’s gone too
It would be bad enough for the Clippers if only Paul were out, but Griffin is done, as well. Griffin’s absence puts lots of pressure on Jordan, Redick and Crawford. Those three were on the court without Paul and Griffin for only 59 possessions all season.
In those possessions, the Clippers shot 14-of-40, were 3-of-16 from 3-point range and committed seven turnovers.