Doc Rivers calls Blake Griffin incident “frustrating” and a “distraction”

Blake Griffin was nearing a return from a quadriceps injury, but a broken hand will sideline the power forward for at least another 4-6 weeks. And Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers isn’t happy about it.

According to ESPN’s Mike Wells, Rivers called Griffin’s injury — which resulted from him hitting assistant equipment manager Matias Testi — “frustratingand adistraction.”

“You don’t want it to happen to anyone, and you obviously don’t want it to happen during the season or even when the season is not going on. This type of stuff shouldn’t happen, but it did, and it’s real life, and you have to deal with real life sometimes in our make-believe world.”

Griffin, who has since apologized, and Testi were sent home from Los Angeles’ current five-game road trip after an altercation left the latter with “visible injuries to his face,” per ESPN’s Michael Eaves via Wells.

The Clippers have managed a 12-3 record without Griffin, but that’s largely a product of a soft schedule. Los Angeles has fallen to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, the two best opponents during the stretch.

Somewhat fortunately for Rivers’ team, the Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics are the best remaining opponents of the Clippers’ pre-All-Star break slate. They could’ve eased Griffin back into the lineup before a handful of contests against the league’s elite.

Immediately following NBA All-Star Weekend, Los Angeles hosts the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. Both matchups will be on national television, but the Clippers won’t be at full strength.

Additionally, if Griffin is out six weeks, he’ll miss two contests against the Oklahoma City Thunder as well as one more with San Antonio, Cleveland and Atlanta.

Los Angeles is in no danger of missing the postseason, but climbing higher than the No. 4 seed without Griffin would be a tremendous and improbable accomplishment.