The Los Angeles Clippers painfully climbed their way back up in the Golden State Warriors dominated Western Conference. At number four in the division, the Chris Paul squad has to battle the healthy stars in the top three such as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan. For their part, the big three of the Los Angeles Clippers have not been complete since December. Hence, their spectacular rise in the Western Conference has been applauded by the basketball community. With the NBA playoffs fast approaching, however, the Los Angeles Clippers will need more than just DeAndre Jordan winging it in the hardwood court.
Rumors are circulating that the Los Angeles Clippers are pushing Blake Griffin to return sooner than expected. With the seemingly unstoppable Golden State Warriors on top and the subtly aggressive San Antonio trailing closely behind, the Doc Rivers squad must pull out all the stops to beat these teams. Moreover, the Oklahoma City Thunder are continuously proving that they are a group to be reckoned with as Durant and Westbrook lead the team to pursue the top spot as well. Will Griffin's return truly make a difference in the Los Angeles Clippers' ranking this NBA season?
"Honestly, I won't know really until I get out there," shared Griffin of his possible contribution to the los Angeles Clippers in the crucial games to come this NBA season. He added, "I mean, I've done drills -- simulated drills -- for this week. I practiced for the first time last Saturday. So, I don't have a really good feel for in-game conditioning and endurance. That'll kind of be a thing we figure out as we go along."
To add to his uncertainty, Griffin shared that his injury in the left quadriceps tendon has yet to completely heal. He also shared that his health issues were not immediately addressed in the past, thereby leading to more issues that lengthened his absence in the hardwood court. In a nutshell, the Los Angeles Clippers center will play with the tear.
"It just wasn't being allowed to heal. So, the tear's still there. It's just about managing the pain and getting through this. It's not like a new tear or re-tearing my [quad] in different places. It wasn't allowing the initial injury to completely heal," shared Griffin. He further said, "I don't want to say misdiagnosed, but it wasn't doing the right things, I guess? We weren't addressing the initial problem -- the main problem."
Does this mean that the Los Angeles Clippers are forcing Griffin to return? Are they desperate enough to risk the NBA star's health just to beat the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder?
The answer is no. Although Rivers is glad of Griffin's recovery, the Los Angeles Clippers head coach still places his team's health on top of everything else - including a potential NBA championship. He shared, "I don't know if it'll be a [minutes limit] or just a limit because you haven't played in three months and so you just have to watch."
He added, "I don't care if you're healthy and 100 percent. You just got to be careful. You don't want to throw a guy out there and let him get injured because you're overplaying him. So we just have to be very careful."