Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 1/18/13
MINNEAPOLIS When TNT announced the starters Thursday for the NBA All-Star game, it didn't come as a surprise the Clippers had Chris Paul and Blake Griffin named to the Western Conference team. Paul, who missed his third straight game Thursday night at Minnesota because of a bruised right kneecap, was picked to start in the backcourt alongside Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. Griffin was picked to start in the frontcourt with Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and the Lakers' Dwight Howard. Paul and Griffin are big reasons why the Clippers have the second-best record in the NBA. Paul is averaging 16.8 points, 9.7 assists and an NBA-best 2.62 steals per game. Griffin leads the Clippers in scoring (17.7 points per game) and rebounding (8.4). "They deserve it," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Blake is having a fantastic year. You've seen a lot of growth in his game. He's one of our leaders, and Chris as well. Both of them are having fantastic years." Butler, Paul injury update The Clippers have been listing Paul as day to day, and he has missed the last three games. Paul was walking better Thursday and probably will play against the Washington Wizards on Saturday at Staples Center or on Monday at Golden State. "Man, I hope so. I hope to play on Saturday," Paul said. "I promise I hope so." Caron Butler injured his right foot against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night and had X-rays, which showed no damage. Butler, who played 22 minutes 30 seconds and had 12 points against Minnesota, said he was somewhat nervous when the injury occurred. "Just initially," Butler said. "I was making a plant and going one way and changed directions and I felt a little discomfort. After I got the X-ray, I was fine, because it wasn't a big deal." Butler's role change With Paul and Chauncey Billups (tendinitis left foot) out, Butler has seen his role expand with the Clippers. Butler is the starting small forward, but it has not been uncommon to see him play some shooting guard or even power forward. "I play two, I play three. There have been cases this season where I've played the four to stretch the floor a little bit," Butler said. "Anything can happen. We can put a lot of different lineups out there. Sometimes we have Matt Barnes at two, me at three, Lamar Odom at the four, Blake at the five. You see a lot of different lineups and some of the things that we have walked through and talked about, at some point, those lineups are out there together." -Broderick Turner
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Thomas, Pierce get snarky on social media amid tribute drama

Rockets upset Clippers weren't disciplined

Report: Tom Brady ‘should be OK’ despite right hand injury

Jalen Rose tells Paul Pierce he is ‘petty’ for denying Thomas tribute

Spurs announce Kawhi Leonard is out indefinitely

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WWE's Roman Reigns, famous actors implicated in steroids ring

Report: SEC will not stop Alabama from hiring Hugh Freeze

Austin Rivers cleared air with Ariza, has yet to with Chris Paul

Mike Tomlin confirms Todd Haley out as OC

Bortles grateful for teammates' support amid heavy criticism

Report: Red Sox have offered Martinez five years, $100M

The 'Fumble and The Miss' quiz

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Johnny Gaudreau, Flames hope layoff won't cool them down

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

College basketball’s most underrated stars

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Eight gutsy NBA trade deadline deals that would turn the tide

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Johnny Gaudreau, Flames hope layoff won't cool them down

The 'Fumble and The Miss' quiz

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

The 'It's a walk-off!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker