Blake Griffin should be back for Summer League

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You remember Blake Griffin, the guy who was going to be the runaway rookie of the year? Top overall pick by the Clippers? Built like a tank? Guy who screwed up his knee landing from a dunk?

He had surgery last month and told Chris Tomasson of FanHouse he should be back working out fully again by May. So he should be ready to impress everybody at Summer League again, which so far has been the highlight of his NBA career.

When Griffin underwent surgery, the Clippers projected he would be out four to six months. Although Griffin later said he didn’t know it will be May for sure and Clippers coach Kim Hughes said “June would be more realistic,” it at least shows the possibility of Griffin being in good shape when the Clippers draft again in the lottery.

“I’m doing rehab and trying to get back and get ready to take that first step,” Griffin said. “We’re kind of taking it week by week. There’s no reason to rush. It’s not like I have to be back at a certain point. I’ll have all summer to work out.”

It’s easy to just make some jokes here, I mean this is the Clippers, so you can assume that Griffin is getting the same motivational speeches as Baron Davis. But Griffin comes off as a genuinely good person, down to earth, hard worker, the kind of guy you want to see make it. In team scrimmages during training camp, Griffin already looked like the best player the Clippers had. The injury didn’t come off contact, just a freakish little thing from landing wrong after throwing it down hard.

Next year Griffin will be back on the court, and fans everywhere will go “Oh yea, that’s why he was drafted first overall. Wonder how long he’ll have to stay with the Clippers?”

Looks like Donovan to keep Andre Roberson, Steven Adams as starters

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder
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Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.

But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start  Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.

There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.

Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….

Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.

This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.

If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88

Harry Gallatin
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The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.

Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.

Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.