Fans of the Los Angeles Clippers have to be down in the dumps, with the dreaded postseason injury bug being the culprit again.
The Los Angeles Clippers had yet another postseason injury to a key player, as Blake Griffin injured the plantar plate in his right big toe, per SB Nation’s Tim Cato. This is the second straight season where Griffin had his postseason end due to injury, and last year he only played 35 games in the regular season anyhow.
It’s unfortunate because Griffin did have a resurgent year with 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. He had also developed the threat of the three ball this season, as he hit 38 threes. His previous career-high in triples was 12, per Basketball Reference. That improvement was likely the difference for him in having the best offensive rating (115.2) of his career, per nba.com. The elephant in the room is staring the Clips in the face, however.
Both Griffin and Chris Paul are free agents this offseason, and you can’t help but think about the missed opportunities in the playoffs. Both of these guys have had their share of playoff injuries the last few seasons, and it’s hard to know if this Clippers team will ever have a window at a deep playoff run again given their injury history and age.
Veteran guard J.J. Redick is a free agent in the summer as well, and I’m not sure if this team will ever get a legitimate chance at an NBA championship. Can Griffin ever stay healthy for a full regular season and playoffs? He’s only 27-years-old, but his ever-expanding list of injuries makes that potential uncertain. Paul can potentially carry this Clippers team to a first round win over the Utah Jazz, but even that is still up in the air.
CP3 was fantastic in the second half again in last night’s Game 3 win on the road, but you can’t expect the Point God to have a chance at beating the Golden State Warriors in the next round without Griffin. Even with him, they don’t match up with the Warriors. All Clippers fans can really do is wait and see at this point. Personally, if I’m the Clippers, I try to re-sign Paul and Redick and let Griffin walk.
He’s a talented player; there’s no doubt about it. That said, he can’t stay healthy, and I’m not sure he’ll ever quite good enough to carry a team and be that “A” player for a franchise. I hope the best for him going forward, though, as he deserves to have his proper playoff dance. I just don’t see it happening with the Clips. They needed him to develop more consistency at this point. He needs a change of scenery.
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