Clippers’ Blake Griffin returns to lineup vs. Lakers Friday

Associated Press

The Clippers have tried to keep their heads above water while Blake Griffin has been out while his knee healed — Los Angeles was 6-8 without Griffin, and they sit three games out of the playoffs right now.

He’s back, returning Friday night vs. the Lakers.

Griffin is the fulcrum of the Clippers’ offense, and when he was on the court this season it was 3.5 points per 100 possessions better than when he sat.

Griffin’s return and how the team performs the next few weeks will set the stage for the big decisions the Clippers will face — do they trade DeAndre Jordan and/or Lou Williams for pieces that help the rebuild, or do they keep the pair, hope Danilo Gallinari (and everyone else) stays healthy, then make a run at the playoffs? Is all that worth it for the seven or eight seed? And do they want to pay Jordan big money next summer to keep him?