Blake Griffin has missed the Clippers last 15 games with a partial quad tear, but as Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times told us in a PBT Podcast, he was expected to return Tuesday night when the Clippers visited the Pacers.
But he’s going to be out a while longer, according to Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin returned home early from the team’s five-game road trip after suffering a suspected broken right hand in an undisclosed team-related incident, ESPN.com has learned.
Sources told ESPN.com that the hand injury — unrelated to the torn quadriceps muscle that has sidelined Griffin since Dec. 26 — is expected to keep him out “a matter of weeks as opposed to days.”
“Undisclosed team-related incident” is an interesting phrasing. I’ll leave it to you to speculate on what that means.
While the Clippers are 12-3 without Griffin, the team’s bench has struggled of late (in Toronto Sunday it cost Los Angeles the game) and the return of Griffin would have helped stabilize the rotations again.
There is no word on how long he will be out, but this is his right — shooting — hand so it has to fully heal.
Griffin is averaging 23.2 points and 8.7 rebounds a game, he can knock down threes and finish at the rim with authority. He’s one of the game’s best power forwards, and the Clippers need him back. They are going to have to learn to be patient for a while.
Kawhi Leonard is the best on-ball defender in the NBA and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Stephen Curry shook him like he was on the playground.
That play pretty much summed up a night where the Warriors offense toyed with the best defense in the NBA, eventually winning 120-90. Leonard did better than most on Curry, but even he is made to look bad at points. There is nothing a mere mortal can do against Curry at this point.
Just ask Patty Mills.
Because the basketball injury gods are not done with New Orleans…
With just less than two minutes remaining in the first half of the Rockets visiting the Pelicans, Houston’s Josh Smith missed a jumper (shocking, I know) and as Tyreke Evans and Anthony Davis both went for the rebound, Evans elbows Davis in the head.
Davis went to the ground, stayed there for a while, went back to the locker room, where he was diagnosed with a concussion.
Davis now has to clear the NBA’s concussion protocol before he can return to the Pelican’s rotation. New Orleans is off until Thursday when they host Sacramento.
Tayshaun Prince isn’t what he once was, but he’s still a long and reasonable defender.
Kyrie Irving turned him into a highlight package.
Irving goes behind his back away from the screen, and then throws in a crossover before he stepped back and drains the three. That is a thing of beauty.
What you see here seemed to be the Cavaliers’ offense a lot of the night — using their athleticism and skills, but doing it earlier in the clock. It wasn’t about system. It wasn’t always pretty either, particularly on defense, but it worked, Cleveland got the 114-107 win (the first for Tyronn Lue as coach). Irving had 17 points on the night but needed 18 shots to get there.
The last time Derrick Favors stepped on a basketball court for the Utah Jazz, Santa Clause had yet to get in his sleigh, and Utah was on track to become a playoff team.
That was 16 games ago, before back problems flared up (for Favors, not Santa). Favors — who had been playing at a near All-Star level scoring 16.8 points and grabbing 6.8 rebounds a game — returns to the Jazz rotation on Monday night against Detroit.
Favors is expected to come off the bench and play limited minutes as he works his way back into shape.
The Jazz went 7-9 without him, also having to deal with injuries to Rudy Gobert and Alec Burks in that window. Utah is only one game back of Sacramento, the current eight seed in the West, and the Jazz are starting to get healthy. We’ll see if they can make a push back into the postseason picture.