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Clippers likely to get Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups back Friday

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Game One

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 15: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers sits on the bench late in the game next to teammate Chauncey Billups against the San Antonio Spurs in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 15, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs defeated the Clippers 108-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

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How much does Chris Paul mean to the Clippers?

They have looked like a contender for much of the season with him running the show, but without him the last nine games they have gone 3-6. And it’s not like his backup stinks — a whole lot of teams are trying to trade for Eric Bledsoe.

The Clippers likely will get Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups back on Friday, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

The Clippers could use him, they take on the Miami Heat on Friday.

What they really need, however, is CP3 playing healthy and rested and at his best in the playoffs. That’s when their “playing like a contender” status will really be put to the test. And they will need the best of Paul, then.