The Los Angeles Clippers are almost at full strength on the practice court as Chris Paul has been medically cleared to return to action after undergoing thumb surgery in August.
He has been a participant of Clippers’ practices but he hasn’t been able to scrimmage or get involved in any other full-contact activities. Now, the five-time NBA All-Star is ready for his grand return, just in time, for LA’s second preseason game of the season against the Miami Heat in China Oct. 11.
Eric Bledsoe filled in for Paul in the first game against the Denver Nuggets Saturday and had a fantastic night with 25 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals. However, the Clips lost 106-104 as the Nuggets’ Ty Lawson made the game winning layup to beat the buzzer.
The backup point guard was more than serviceable, but there is nothing like having one of the best players in the NBA on the court.
Paul is ready to go, but the Clippers starting backcourt is still not together since Chauncey Billups is still limited to what he can do after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in February. Billups has also been around for drills as long as they are not full-contact.
Having both of them back is the ideal situation, but one is always better than nothing. Hopefully as the season rolls around the team will be close to 100%. A fully active and healthy NBA franchise doesn’t happen often, although, the Clippers are going to need as much good will and luck it can get to compete with the other Western Conference elite.