Blake Griffin is reportedly hampered by a quad injury, and once he’s healthy enough to play, he must serve a four-game suspension before returning.
The Clippers have nine games remaining in March,
It’s been a poorly kept secret around the Clippers that it now appears Griffin won’t be back until sometime in April.
After their initial success without him, the Clippers – who’ve lost to the Thunders, Cavaliers and Spurs in previous week – have shown how badly they need Griffin against the NBA’s top teams. With just 16 games left in the regular season, the Clippers are running out of time for Griffin to get healthy, serve his suspension and acclimate before the playoffs.
At least the Clippers are fairly locked into fourth place in the Western Conference – 2.5 games behind the third-place Thunder and 3.5 games ahead of the fifth-place Grizzlies. So, Griffin’s absence is unlikely to affect their postseason position. Heck, if injury-ravaged Memphis holds onto fifth, the Clippers could get a relatively easy first-round series to use toward Griffin getting his feet under him.
But the key to the Clippers advancing in the playoffs is getting Griffin healthy. Then, they can worry about the exact timeline.