At number four in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Clippers ferociously fought their way to secure a spot in the NBA playoffs. Right now, the DeAndre Jordan squad have to beat the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder to fight for the NBA championship. With the likes of Stephen Curry, Draymond Gree, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant blocking their path, the Los Angeles Clippers will need all hands on deck to succeed. Hence, the return of Blake Griffin comes at an opportune time for the Chris Paul team.
The return of Griffin in the Los Angeles Clippers will definitely provide the necessary boost for the NBA team. However, the center has yet to serve his four-game suspension. This means that Griffin, who got into an altercation with an old friend during the basketball team's game against the Toronto Raptors, will miss the Los Angeles Clippers matches against the Jae Crowder's Boston Celtics, Karl-Anthony Towns' Minnesota Timberwolves and Dion Waiters' Oklahoma City Thunder. Griffin already missed the game against the Denver Nuggets where the Los Angeles Clippers sealed the deal for their NBA playoffs spot.
"I think we're all excited," shared DeAndre Jordan of Griffins's return. He added, "We've really missed him. You can't really replace a guy like that, but we have pieces. And everybody's starting to settle into their role and everybody's playing with a lot more confidence. So, whenever Blake gets back next week -- it's obviously going to take him some time to get his rhythm back and everything. We're all really excited."
Chris Paul also echoed Jordan's excitement, citing the benefits of getting Griffin back in the hardwood court. Paul further shared that the presence of the former No. 1 draft pick adds confidence to the Los Angeles Clippers lineup. With the upcoming basketball teams they are about to face, the return of Griffin could undoubtedly boost their offense.
"We went through some offensive stuff [Saturday] and everything's a lot smoother when Blake's on the court," said Paul. He added, "Just our continuity and the way our offense looks. And it just gives our team an ultimate confidence. But at the same time, we understand he has to work his way back in."
The comments of Paul was reiterated by Doc Rives. While everyone is excited with Griffins's return, the Los Angeles Clippers head coach feels that the once troubled star will need to focus on intensive training. Moreover, Rivers refused to answer whether Griffin will keep his starting role.
"I kind of thought [Griffin would be ready to play] before, but I still wanted to see him [practice]. That's why I didn't want to say anything," said Rivers. He continued, "You know, he wanted to practice the last practice we had [on March 22] and we wouldn't let him. Usually, when a player starts talking that way, you know he's ready to practice and wants to go out. We just felt like the extra three or four days to this practice would help. I think Blake would probably disagree with that -- he thought he should practice the last one. But, he looked great."