The Los Angeles Clippers may have won against the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas day, but it came at a huge cost. As Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports reports, Blake Griffin suffered a quadriceps injury in the win and is out indefinitely.
Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin is out indefinitely with a partially torn left quadriceps.
Griffin suffered the quad injury during Friday night’s 94-84 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers. He underwent an MRI on Saturday morning that revealed the injury.
Griffin will be re-evaluated in two weeks, and it’s uncertain when he will return to action.
Though the Clippers haven’t at all lived up to their massive preseason hype, Griffin was enjoying a typically monstrous year, averaging 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. Ever since Griffin missed his first season with a fractured kneecap, he’s been fairly sturdy in terms of injury, missing just 35 games in five-plus seasons.
This is obviously a massive blow to the Clippers, who now have to replace one of the NBA’s best all-around players. Their options aren’t all that great, with Josh Smith likely to start in Griffin’s stead during his absence. While Smith is a gifted passer, defender and scorer, his best days are behind him, and he’s nowhere near as consistent as Griffin.
Obviously, the Clippers can’t replace someone of Griffin’s caliber, so it’ll fall to their other stars – most notably, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan – to pick up the slack. Jordan initially agreed to sign with the Clippers in part because he wanted a bigger offensive role. His wish is now granted, and hopefully he can replicate his play last year when Griffin missed time with a shoulder injury.
Paul, meanwhile, will need to shoulder more of the scoring burden. He’s certainly capable of doing so, and has a knack for giving his team exactly what they need at exactly the right time. When Griffin is on the court, the team usually just needs a facilitator and opportunistic scorer, a role Paul is happy to play. Without Griffin, he understands that the Clippers need him to look for his own shot.