That had to be the all around feeling in Clippers fans Wednesday night as they watched Blake Griffin fall, then grab his knee while lying on the court. This was the same knee he had to have surgery on and kept him out of his initial rookie season. And as if the basketball gods looked to taunt this team looking to stray away from being the embarrassing franchise of the NBA, Chris Paul injured himself in the second half.
The good news: Neither are serious injuries. An MRI on Griffin’s left knee revealed no structural damage. Paul, who came into this series with a right groin strain, wound up straining a right hip flexor.
The bad news: Well, despite the injuries not being too severe, the Clippers’ two top scorers in the playoffs are now game time decisions. The Clippers lead the series 3-2 and will face Memphis at home tonight for Game 6.
Paul,who is averaging 22.6 ppg and 7.8 apg in the playoffs, has proved to be the leader of this team and an impetus in the team’s 3 wins this series. Griffin is averaging 20.2 ppg and 7.2 rpg (down from 10.9 rpg in regular season.)
This Clippers team is not new to injuries. G Chauncey Billups played all of 20 games before suffering a torn Achilles tendon in early February. Caron Butler fractured his non shooting hand in Game 1 of the series, but only missed Game 2. Recap: Assuming they are starting, you have a PF with a knee injury, a PG with a groin/hip injury, and a SF with a broken hand. Championshiiiiiipppp!
So now that leaves us with who? An inexperienced Randy Foye struggling offensively with only 7.8 ppg in the playoffs. And C DeAndre Jordan who…well…I honestly don’t know what purpose he serves besides an occasional dunk and a few blocks.
Even with all those factors I do believe the Clippers will win tonight. They are playing at home which is a huge advantage for them. And even when the Grizzlies had 20+ point leads, the Clippers still wouldn’t go away. They have some fight in them. Now, beating the Spurs next round with all of those issues is another thing. We shall see if they can actually win a playoff series tonight.