Blake Griffin’s luck with injuries is beginning to resemble that of Derrick Rose. Griffin injured his left knee for the fifth time on Monday, November 27th, against the Lakers in the city’s battle for mediocrity. Both Los Angeles teams have failed to meet the auspicious expectations many fans and experts held before the season, facing losing records. One year ago, Clippers fans would have been shocked to know that their team would be playing without Chris Paul or Blake Griffin in 2017.
Griffin went down in the fourth quarter after his teammate Austin Rivers landed on his left knee. The incident can easily be tagged as the most gruesome injury of the 2017-18 NBA season second only to that of Gordon Hayward. Adding to the devastation, Griffin was in the midst of a career year, the first of his five year, 173 million dollar contract with the Clippers. Without Chris Paul, whose domineering presence had, at times, served as a roadblock to the success of Griffin and Deandre Jordan, Blake was averaging a career high 5.1 assists per contest and nearly matching his career best with 23.6 points a game.
Enter Deandre Jordan. The third member of the Clippers’ big three of old will now help carry the load for the team as the last man standing. A rebounding machine, Jordan has posted over 13 boards a game so far in 2017. His scoring has been less prolific but critically took a backseat to Griffin, who developed an outside shot during the off-season. Now, Jordan will be tasked with more responsibility putting the ball in the net, especially with sharp shooter Danilo Gallinari sidelined for a week or so more. With Griffin out, Gallinari’s projected value rises. Lou Williams has adopted a major offensive role this year, and he will also certainly carry a heavier load for the team moving forward without Griffin. Williams led the team to victory against the Lakers with 42 points.