Clippers Injury Update: Blake Griffin out at least 2 weeks


Just as the Los Angeles Clippers were hoping to gain momentum, they will now be without Blake Griffin (quad) for at least two weeks.

The Los Angeles Clippers may have got a win on Christmas Day against their hometown rival Lakers, but previously they had lost three straight and are still looking to find some consistent form. This season has been a constant phase of adjustment and struggle for the totally rebuilt team, and a recent piece of news makes matters worse as they were hoping to gain some new momentum:

Blake Griffin will be out for at least two weeks with a quad injury that he sustained during the early stages of his Christmas outing against the Lakers. Thankfully for the Clippers it isn’t any longer, yet it’s come at the worst time so early in the season.

Rowan Kavner of has reported the details of Griffin’s injury:

"Blake Griffin did not make the trip to Utah for the Clippers’ match-up Saturday night against the Jazz and will miss at least the rest of the team’s current five-game road trip with a partially torn quad tendon suffered in the Clippers’ Christmas win against the Lakers.The injury occurred on a drive to the basket in the first quarter Friday night, and an MRI revealed the partial tear Saturday morning. Griffin will begin a recovery and treatment plan and will be re-evaluated in two weeks."

With Griffin guaranteed to be out two weeks, it’s already a major loss for the Clippers. He’s undoubtedly been the team’s MVP this season, and his presence is something they cannot come close to replacing with any combination of players from the second unit.

If the team are going to stay positive, they have games against several struggling teams coming up over the next week, including the Utah Jazz (with no Rudy Gobert), Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans and the lowest of the low, the Philadelphia 76ers.

At least if the Clippers are going to lose a star player, it came at a time when they’re facing weaker opponents. That’s purely putting a positive angle on a worrying scenario, though. With the shot selection and inconsistency of guys like Jamal Crawford and Josh Smith trying to makeup for Griffin’s scoring, it could get ugly.

With 23.2 points on 50.7 percent shooting, 8.7 rebounds and five assists per game, he’s once again having a stellar season. The ways he can drive to the rim with his improved ball handling are on a level above any other big man, and his 16 foot jumper has been as reliable as ever. Add on his increased rebounding from last season and development defensively in the post, and it’s clear he can’t be replaced. His scoring and passing have made him such a fundamental weapon to help run the offense besides Chris Paul.

More from Clipperholics

Even during last season, when the Clippers won 56 games and earned the 3rd seed in the Western Conference, losing Griffin for two weeks would have been a real blow. It’s not a devastating amount of time that will alter the entire season, but it can make a difference to the team’s record that can have repercussions in the West’s tight playoff race.

In his absence, Josh Smith should move into the starting lineup at power forward, and Cole Aldrich (who has made an impact in the recent minutes he’s received) will also experience an increased role at backup center. As Smith is making up for the loss of Griffin at the four, Doc Rivers will be forced away from the liability of a small-ball lineup he’s been using with Smith at center.

Smith and Aldrich have played fairly well defensively at times this season, but the way in which they will detract from the offense, both in terms of limited range and efficiency, could be a real problem.

Next: 5 moments that changed the power balance of L.A. basketball

This will be the ultimate test for Doc to create some new rotations that actually work (at least as well as possible) and for the bench to step up. As fans know now, though, that’s a lot to ask for. They’ve been far from impressive this season, and the Clippers will be praying that the re-evaluation of Griffin clears him to play in two week’s time.