Los Angeles Clippers forward, Blake Griffin, has shown that his quad has not been limiting him at all this season. In his last start, Griffin went out to score a team-high 26 points on 10-of-21 shooting during Sunday’s 117-110 loss to the Wizards, adding seven boards, seven assists, one steal and two turnovers in 38 minutes. He now surpasses Elton Brand for the third spot and is only 82 points away from taking the number two rank from Bob McAdoo.
It will now take him even longer to surpass McAdoo as he will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The knee scope will give the doctors a chance to remove loose bodies, clean up inflamed tissue and cam frame cartilage discs. According to Dr. Parekh he could be out two-to-four weeks.
— Dr. Selene Parekh (@seleneparekhmd) December 19, 2016
The good news is that of all the surgeries to have; arthroscopic is the least invasive. Griffin could realistically meet the earlier end of this initial timetable. The bad news is that this could be the worst possible time to lose their power forward. The Los Angeles Clippers’ dominated in their first 16 games only losing twice, but now that has all but disappeared. Los Angeles has only played .500 ball (6-6) since then.
Perhaps this isn’t even the worst of news that he will be out. The Clippers are deep at the forward position with Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass, and Marreese Speights getting more playing time. Even historically, Los Angeles has performed well. Last season when Griffin went down with the quad injury from Dec. 26, 2015 through March 31, 2016, the Clippers went 30-15 in his absence. With Doc Rivers seeing this all before, he will be prepared on how to handle the situation and get the right matchups on the floor.
Bass is a type of player that suits well with the stop-and-pop shooting. He also plays tough defense and can be mobile regardless of his 6-8 and 250 pounds body frame. The future Hall of Fame member Paul Pierce is not going to make much difference. He is at the end of his career, but he will get more than his 6.5 minutes he is averaging now. Speights could be the primary factor in replacing Griffin. At center, he has the skill set to hit three-pointers, and be accurate around the perimeter. Even though he is aggressive in putting points on the board, he lacks defensive strength.
At this time, Blake Griffin is averaging 21.4 points per game with 8.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists. He is shooting 48 percent from the field and 74.6 percent from the charity stripe. His free throw accuracy has improved significantly from the 66.6 he has averaged in his career.
The Clippers are going to miss Griffin’s rebound ability and his athletic ability to move from power forward to point forward. They are going to have to rely more on DeAndre Jordan’s play at the rim and his ability to block shots. While Chris Paul, is going to need to increase his capacity to steal and dish.
The players benefitting the most from Griffin’s absence will be the dynamic duo of Paul and Jordan. Paul will have to shoot more and be more accurate with his passes. With Paul doing more it will reflect Jordan into getting more rebounds and more inside scoring. Now, only if he can increase his free throw shooting capabilities.
[graphiq id=”hHVJZQ3HoI5″ title=”Blake Griffin” width=”600″ height=”697″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/hHVJZQ3HoI5″ ]