Clippers' First-Round Loss Opens Door to Uncertain Future for Chris Paul

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Clippers' First-Round Loss Opens Door to Uncertain Future for Chris Paul
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Some NBA rules are widely acknowledged but rarely enforced, and one of them has to do with where perimeter players can stand during free throws. Unless positioned along the key, they are supposed to remain beyond the three-point line, yet many keep at least one foot inside of it. This subtle violation irritates Chris Paul to no end. If Clippers forward Blake Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan were better free-throw shooters, Paul might not be bothered, but Griffin shoots 66 percent from the free-throw line and Jordan 38 percent. Opponents are able to get a head start chasing their misses. "DJ and Blake are not great free-throw shooters, so every guy in the league stands over the line like this," Paul said, straddling the arc in a brief demonstration earlier this spring at the Clippers practice facility. He points out transgressions to officials. He shows videotaped evidence to head coach Vinny Del Negro. He has even discussed the matter with Stu Jackson, the NBA's executive vice president for basketball operations, who is in charge of discipline.

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