Even before all the talk of Carmelo Anthony joining the Clippers came up, Chris Paul had a message worth sharing when it came to his embattled team: he’s as confident as ever that they’re title contenders.
Never mind that Paul is sidelined for the next five to seven weeks with a thumb injury, or that Blake Griffin just missed 18 games because of a knee problem, or that they’ve gone just 16-15 since starting the season 14-2.
Paul, the 31-year-old point guard who made an ironic appearance at the NBA’s Total Health Forum on Thursday, remains bullish on the big picture.
“That ain’t gone nowhere,” Paul told USA TODAY Sports about the meaningful optimism he shared during the Clippers’ hot start. “It’s crazy. For me, if we win all those games (during this past backslide), it doesn’t matter. All that matters is ‘Can you beat a team four out of seven times (in the playoffs)?’ That’s how my mind works. You beat a team on a Monday night in January, coming off a back to back, and everybody will be like, ‘Oh, this means that they can play (at the highest level)…’ “We’ll be all right. I’m big picture (person), you know what I mean? I think we’ll be fine. I’m sure we’ll be fine.”