Clippers’ Blake Griffin almost ready to return to the lineup

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.

Clippers look to salvage one against the World Champions

The Los Angeles Clippers (43-26) will try to salvage the fourth and last regular season game against the defending world champion Golden State Warriors (63-7) this season when the rivals meet Wednesday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

The Warriors have won the last eight regular season meetings between the two pacific division foes.

In the three prior meetings this season, the Clippers held a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of first two games before falling to the Warriors and rallied in the last meeting from a double-digit fourth quarter deficit that fell short on a last second heave by C.J. Wilcox to send the game into overtime.

According to the Clippers – who continue to play without injured Blake Griffin – a win over the Warriors Wednesday will be just that. A win.

However, it would still go a long way in the confidence department if the Clippers could come out with a win.

With just 13 games remaining in the regular season for the Clippers, it’s important to remember they’re the last team to beat the Warriors in a seven game playoff series two seasons ago.

Before Tuesday’s practice, I discussed that with head coach Doc Rivers and all-star point guard Chris Paul.

Tip-off Wednesday is set for 7:30 p.m. PDT.

 

 

Clippers ink forward Turkoglu; sign guard Morris to 2nd 10-day deal

Hedo Turkoglu inks his name to a Clippers contract Thursday morning. Thanx: L.A. Clippers
Hedo Turkoglu inks his name to a Clippers contract Thursday morning.
Thanx: L.A. Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed 13-year NBA free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu who was waived by the Orlando Magic two weeks ago.

“It feels great. I’m really excited. A little bit nervous.”  Turkoglu told the Clippers after signing his contract. “It’s a new chapter for me. I’m just happy to be part of this great organization.”

To read the rest of this story and hear Clippers coach Doc Rivers talk about Turkoglu, please click here.

Clippers rally from 17 down with under five minutes left to beat Dallas, 129-127

A sold-out Staples Center crowd of 19,208 saw the Clippers come from 17 points down in the 4th to beat Dallas, 129-127.
A sold-out Staples Center crowd of 19,208 saw the Clippers come from 17 points down in the 4th to beat Dallas, 129-127.

Finishing up a homestand before leaving town for the annual two-week Grammy Awards Road Trip, the Los Angeles Clippers made a monumental  fourth quarter comeback – trailing by 17 points with just under five minutes left in the game – and beat the Dallas Mavericks, 129-127 to run the table on the four-game homestand.

To read the rest of this story and see the postgame video, please click here.

Clippers & Lakers headed in opposite directions with Grammy Trip on horizon

Chris Paul tumbles to the floor separating his right shoulder against the Dallas Mavericks. Thanx: USATODAYSI
Chris Paul tumbles to the floor separating his right shoulder against the Dallas Mavericks.
Thanx: USATODAYSI

The Los Angeles Clippers will try to do what their hallway rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, couldn’t do – win their last game at Staples Center before hitting the road for the two weeks known as the Grammy Trip.

The Clippers (26-13) host the Dallas Mavericks (23-16) tonight – five days after torching the Lakers by 36 points, 123-87 at Staples Center.

To read the rest of this story, click here.

Clippers rolling despite “jet-lag.” Jordan’s game “Russell-esque?”

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (#6 far left) fights for rebounding position during Wednesday's 108-95 Clippers win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (#6 far left) fights for rebounding position during Wednesday’s 108-95 Clippers win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Traveling across country is always a difficult proposition for anyone. Especially for professional athletes – let’s say like a basketball team.

Thanks to the Disney On Ice holiday extravaganza taking over Staples Center the first two weeks of December, the Los Angeles Clippers took to the road for an east coast swing where they were able to win four out of the seven games on the roadie.

To read the rest of this story and see the video feature, click here.

Clippers’ Paul previews tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets

Dwight Howard makes his first return to Staples Center tonight since leaving the Lakers when the Houston Rockets visit the Clippers. Thanx: ESPN
Dwight Howard makes his first return to Staples Center tonight since leaving the Lakers when the Houston Rockets visit the Clippers.
Thanx: ESPN

After losing the season-opener to the corridor-rival Los Angeles Lakers the Los Angeles Clippers have reeled off two straight wins and look to get a third tonight when they host ex-Laker Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets (3-0).

It’s Howard’s first visit to Staples Center since leaving the Lakers. He’s averaging 15 points, 17 rebounds and two blocked shots per game for the Rockets.

To read the rest of this story and view the video report, click here.

Clippers’ Rivers keeps practices playoff intense

First year head coach Doc Rivers wants to make sure these Los Angeles Clippers aren’t your parents’ Clippers.

(LtoR) Clippers' Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan & Blake Griffin are ready for the bright lights in "Tinsletown."
(LtoR) Clippers’ Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan & Blake Griffin are ready for the bright lights in “Tinsletown.”

That’s assuming, of course, your parents were fans during that era of futility which is 90% of the Clippers history.

To read the entire article and see the video, click here.

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