Prior to Friday night’s match-up with the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers fielded questions about the eventual return of all-star forward Blake Griffin to the Clippers starting line-up.
Griffin’s been out since partially tearing his left quadricep tendon in a Christmas Day win over the Los Angeles Lakers
. Griffin was expected back sooner until he added fractured right hand a month later punching a Clippers assistant equipment manager outside of a Toronto restaurant.
Since first being sidelined, the Clippers have posted an impressive 26 and 14 record without Griffin. That’s great for a bench that’s gotten extended playing time because of the adjustments being made without Griffin.
The team’s efficiency on both sides of the ball without Griffin has it in the top ten in the league based on 100 possessions per game.
The Clippers rank seventh in the league in offensive efficiency scoring 108 points per game, fifth in the league in defensive efficiency holding opponents to 102.2 points per game.
That puts the Clippers at an impressive fifth overall in the league at plus 5.8 points per game versus the rest of the league.
Including Friday’s game with the Trail Blazers, the Clippers have 12 regular season games remaining and are, at this point, locked in as the fourth overall seed in the Western Conference with home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs basically assured.
So, when is Griffin coming back? The hand is healed so the quad is still what’s keeping him out.
He still has to sit out a four game suspension handed down by the league for the altercation in Toronto which means if he’s to get some playing time to get acclimated to the team and vice versa before the playoffs, it seems imperative he gets back in the lineup in the next ten days.
Rivers answers questions involving Blake’s health and imminent return in the video provided which also shows Griffin working out prior to the Portland game with one of Doc’s assistants, Dave Severns.