NBA fans in Los Angeles will get a special gift on Christmas as their two home teams the Clippers and Lakers take on each other for the first time in the season. But without their star player Blake Griffin, will the Clippers be able win against the Lakers?
The Lakers are surely going through a rough time this season after losing 10 games in December alone. Their only win from this month was against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Due to this slump, the Lakers are surely looking play strong as they take on the Clippers this Christmas. They might get a chance to accomplish this since the Clippers recently lost Griffin to a knee injury.
As noted by the Washington Post, Griffin has been the Clippers most productive player in transition. He averages 21.2 points with 8.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. During the Clippers' match against the Washington Wizards, which they lost, Griffin scored a total of 26 points.
However, earlier this week, Griffin underwent a minor surgery for his right knee. According to the Los Angeles Times, the procedure removed "loose bodies" from his knee.
Although the surgery was only a minor one, Griffin is expected to miss about four to six weeks, which clearly means that he will not be able to join the Clippers as they take on the Lakers. Temporarily taking on Griffin's place as starter is Paul Pierece.
But, as noted by Clippers guard Austin Rivers, despite the roster change, the team still intends to show the same type of performance in their games.
"It's always tough when your best player goes down," he said. "But you just have to find a way to win. We're not going to change the way we play. I would imaging we'll be up and down more."
"We'll go at a faster pace just because we don't have that post presence of throwing it in, kind of watching him do his thing," he added. "Without him in the rotation right now, I would imaging we would get the ball up a lot more, just try to run the floor a little bit."