Originally written on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 4/26/12
NEW YORK Self preservation can have a powerful pull. And so when the decision came to tell Chris Paul that due to a sore groin he would be sitting out the season finale, one in which homecourt advantage for the Clippers' first-round series with Memphis hung in the balance, it was not a particularly hard one for Vinny Del Negro. Homecourt advantage is something more than an extravagance for the greenhorn Clippers. But Paul, who has been the NBA's best closer this season, is something more than a necessity. That much was made clear Wednesday night when the Paul-less Clippers were beaten 99-93 by the Knicks, who led by 18 points in the fourth quarter and then played and coached like they preferred to lose so they could open the playoffs in Chicago instead of Miami. There will be no such charity from Memphis, when their first-round series begins this weekend. Then the equation is simple. No Paul. No chance. "The most important thing is to be smart about it and look at the big pi...
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