Saturday, April 28, 2012
Clippers' Chris Paul to start Game 1
By Arash Markazi ESPNLosAngeles.com
PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul practiced with the team Saturday for the first time since straining his left groin Tuesday in Atlanta.
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Paul said he was able to practice without restrictions and will start Sunday when the Clippers open the playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies.
"I'm fine," Paul said. "I'll be ready to play tomorrow."
Paul sat out Wednesday's regular-season finale against the New York Knicks with the injury, but said he possibly could have played if it were a playoff game.
"Possibly, but it's risk versus reward," Paul said. "Why go out there and do that and possibly not be able to play Sunday?"
Paul was in uniform against the Knicks and again at practice on Friday but waited until Saturday to test his injured groin during the Clippers final practice at home before flying to Memphis. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said he would monitor Paul's injury Sunday and may monitor his minutes as well.
"I wouldn't say he's back all the way," Del Negro said. "He went through some 5-0 stuff. He's moving and said he felt alright so we'll see how it feels tomorrow. I'll see how he feels tomorrow after shootaround. I'm sure he'll be limited a little bit. We just have to be smart about it. Obviously we need him to play so we'll just see how he feels and go off that."