The Basketball gods have thrown a lot of injuries the Clippers’ way this season — Patrick Beverley is out for the season with microfracture surgery on his knee, Danilo Gallinari is out with a glute injury and there is no timetable, and Milos Teodosic is out until after Christmas with a plantar fascia injury.
However, the injury to Blake Griffin suffered Monday could end up the most devastating of all.
In the fourth quarter against the Lakers Monday, Griffin was reaching for a loose ball knocked away from Lonzo Ball when Austin Rivers went crashing into Griffin’s knee and bent it at a very awkward angle. It looked nasty. (After the game, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said there should have been a foul on Ball for knocking Rivers into Griffin, but the video doesn’t show that, Rivers crashed into Griffin all on his own.)
We don’t yet know the severity of the injury, Griffin will undergo more tests Tuesday, with Doc Rivers saying it was too soon to tell. There is some reason for hope.
Griffin signed a five-year, $173 million contract to stay with the Clippers last summer. This season they have leaned on him for playmaking as well as scoring, plus floor spacing and defense. Griffin started the season strong, but as the injuries around him put more and more on his plate, he has struggled to be as efficient.
Without him, the Clippers will be lost. If this injury is serious, it could have ramifications for Los Angeles’ future, such as what to do with DeAndre Jordan at the trade deadline (teams are already calling about him).
Hopefully, Griffin was not seriously injured and will be back soon, allowing the Clippers to put off those questions for at least a few weeks.