Perfection has been elusive for Blake Griffin, but the Clippers forward says it's still a worthy objective.
Is it even possible to play perfect basketball?
"No, it's not possible, but why not try for it?" Griffin said. "I never want to go into a game and be like, 'I did good enough.' I don't think I've ever had a game like that. I've never had a game where I was like, 'Yeah, that was a perfect game.' So why not push for it?"
If he does think he has played a perfect game, would he let the media know?
"Yeah," Griffin said laughing, "if that ever happens, I'll let you know."
To that end, Griffin remains hard on himself. Even though he has played in only five games since missing 15 to have surgery for a staph infection in his right elbow, Griffin expects his game to be on point.
He acknowledged there are "encouraging" signs that the elbow is close to being fully healed.
"I've kind of always been like that so I don't really think twice about it," Griffin said. "The mistakes I hate are the stupid ones, the ones that I just know better and I just tried something anyway and it didn't work. But that's part of being a basketball player. You have to go for it sometimes. But, yeah, I'm hard on myself."
The great athletes, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said, are always trying to be perfect.
"I think it's always nice to be in pursuit of," Rivers said. "It's a carrot that you'll probably never get. But the more you run after it, the better you'll play and the better you'll become. It's a form of leadership, too. When the other players see their best player is not satisfied, how can they ever be satisfied?"
But, Rivers said, there can be a downside to trying to be perfect.
"At times it can hurt you, clearly," Rivers said. "But I'd rather have that than not. I love guys who chase perfection. Coaches do it every night. So it's nice when players do it."
When the Clippers took the court for practice Monday, Jamal Crawford was wearing workout clothes.
He took some shots, got some treatment, but didn't practice. Crawford, the team's sixth man and third-leading scorer, remains sidelined by a bruised right calf, and there's no timetable for his return.
Rivers said not to "read that much" into Crawford dressing.
"He's walking better so that's a good sign," Rivers said. "I don't know what that sign means, but it's got to be better than a week ago when he wasn't dressed.
"I have faith that he'll be back. But there is a concern that he may not be, and that's not a good thought."