L.A. Clippers coach Doc Rivers offers an update on his injured franchise stars

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Things didn't pan out the way the L.A. Clippers would have hoped last season and injuries as much as anything else ultimately ended their postseason dreams.

Although the Clippers possess one of the best trios in the league in Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, only the latter was able to contribute all season long and earned All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive First Team honours this term.

Conversely, Griffin could only manage 35 games last season largely in thanks to a troublesome quadriceps injury and Paul was struck down in the midst of a playoff battle with the Portland Trail Blazers with a broken hand.

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As the Clippers finished up their business at the NBA Draft in New York last night, their head coach, Doc Rivers, offered some insight into how two of his star players are recovering.

"They're good," Rivers said. "Blake was in here today. Feeling good. Wants to get to working out soon, he told me. Chris has been healthy with the hand for a while."

So, is Griffin running drills yet? Is he close to a return?

"No, I think he's shooting free throws," Rivers said. "I don't know if you count that as basketball stuff. But I don't think he would at this point in the summer anyway. At least I wouldn't be. Maybe that's why I turned out the way I did.

The Clippers did make moves to select three players in the draft. They selected first-team All-American Brice Johnson from UNC with the 25th pick, French point guard David Michineau with the 39th pick and Maryland center Diamond Stone with the following pick.

However, the franchise has come under criticism for failing to emerge as serious contenders with the talent they have at their disposal. Past their Big Three, J.J Redick, Paul Pierce, Austin Rivers - son to Doc - Jeff Green and Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford are all excellent accompanying pieces. Still, the Clippers have not managed to make it past the Conference semi-finals in their entire history.

Rivers, though, is wary of breaking up such a solid line-up.

"I've been in this game a long time. I get how hard it is," Rivers said after the draft. "But for me, I look at our record, and I look at how good we've been and I know we are right there. And I've been around this game long enough to understand that.

"I'm not going to buy into the impatience of anyone else. We're really good. And we're really close. And whether we need to tweak or not, we're going to do whatever we can with what we can. But I like who we are."

Chris Paul
L.A. Clippers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Blake Griffin
DeAndre Jordan

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