Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, in the midst of a rough patch in the schedule, thinks he’ll get power forward Blake Griffin back in time for the playoffs.
Rivers, via Rowan Kavner of the team’s official website, revealed more information on Griffin’s progress.
Doc said Blake's working more & Doc's confident he'll be back before playoffs but can't say w/ 100% certainty. Still no return date.
— Rowan Kavner (@RowanKavner) March 22, 2016
Griffin has been out of the lineup ever since breaking his hand on the jaw of the team’s assistant equipment manager back in late January.
The incident became an embarrassment to the organization, leading Rivers to express his disappointment in Griffin.
“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.”
Since then he’s suffered a quad injury that has kept him out of the lineup far longer than his broken hand initially would have.
The Clippers could certainly use Griffin’s return. Losers of four of their last five games and five of their last seven, Los Angeles is in a free fall right now as the season’s most intense battles still await.
There is a chance Griffin could still miss the playoffs, based on Rivers’ statement, via Kavner. That said, it sure sounds like he should be ready to play next month.
Given the powerhouses they’ll face in the Golden State Warriors and/or San Antonio Spurs, the Clippers are likely dead upon arrival in a seven-game series with either team if Griffin isn’t part of the equation.