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May 13, 2018

Chris Paul

Houston, Texas: Practice Day

Q. Do you think people are kind of sleeping on Clint Capela, who's now dominating Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert?
CHRIS PAUL: No, I don't think they're sleeping on him. I mean, no offense, I don't think we really care. That's sort of the attitude we've had all season long, no matter who it is. We know the value of our team, and that's all that matters.

Q. In this series, how important does he become?
CHRIS PAUL: I don't think it's just about this series. He's important to our team. You saw what our record was this year when Clint played. It's no secret. Everybody always wants to point out me and James [Harden], but he's the X-factor. When Clint doesn't play, we're in trouble.

Q. In the beginning of the season you told us the key for this team to reach both offensive and defensive potential is about communication. Do you think right now this team's communication is reaching the level that you expected?
CHRIS PAUL: I think so. I think we're pretty good right now, but we can always get better. You know, especially playing against the team we're about to play against, communication is key. They have a lot of shooters, a lot of guys that slip, move well without the ball. It'll be a good test to see if our communication is still there.

Q. I know you guys are always more internally focused and not worried about what other teams are doing, but was there a sense that Golden State was going to be something you'd have to overcome?
CHRIS PAUL: How many times have they been to The Finals?

Q. Three in a row.
CHRIS PAUL: Right, so that's pretty -- know what I mean? They've won the Western Conference I don't know how many times. For us, we're just taking it one game at a time and getting ready for tomorrow.

Q. They've proved three years in a row that they can perform on the biggest stage at an elite level. What is it that makes you think that you guys can do the same thing?
CHRIS PAUL: Because we're on a team together. You know what I mean? We competed all season long to get here, and now it's all about Game 1. We're going to focus on that, as we have all season long.

Q. Is there a different feeling as you're playing in these kind of games, step by step, further to where you want to be, Game 5 compared to Game 1 against Utah? Do you feel it?
CHRIS PAUL: I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but no. Know what I mean? No. It's a process, man. Today is what, Sunday? Tomorrow is Game 1. You go with Game 1. This isn't football; it isn't any given Sunday. So you have to go with the process. Win Game 1, OK, you get ready for Game 2.

Q. There was a sense when guys talked about your Game 5 that you were rising to an occasion, that you didn't want to go back to Utah and you responded to a feeling.
CHRIS PAUL: Yeah, it's a good story, know what I mean? That's over and done with? Now it's Game 1.

Q. Do you look forward to seeing if there's any kind of different feelings as each round comes that you haven't been in before?
CHRIS PAUL: I guess. I don't know, I think for me, it's about the right now. You don't think about that stuff. I think for right now, we're just focused on getting through practice, getting ready for the game tomorrow, going home and watching the game today.

Q. You've been preparing forever. Seems like a big, long buildup. You've got to be anxious to get out on the court and get it going?
CHRIS PAUL: Yeah, somewhat, but no offense, I don't watch none of this TV, I don't read none of these stories. So it ain't that big of a deal. For us, it's been just life for the past few days. My son had a soccer game yesterday. It's Mother's Day today. Enjoy some of that instead of getting all wrapped up in this.

Q. You've had some great battles over the years with Klay. What is it about Klay Thompson that makes him a tough guy to face?
CHRIS PAUL: I don't know. I think they've just got a solid team. Everybody on their team sticks to their strengths. They have defenders, they have shooters and all this stuff like that. So for us, we know what our team is capable of. We've just got to come out and whoever executes their game plan, just like other series, will probably come out on top.

Q. There were some great matchups between the Clippers and the Warriors. Why does it always seem to get so chippy with Draymond Green?
CHRIS PAUL: I don't know. I don't know.

Q. Do you expect it in this series?
CHRIS PAUL: I expect a hard-fought series. We'll see what comes with it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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