A late regular-season game against an Eastern Conference team with a losing record just became one of the hottest tickets on the
FOR THE RECORD:
Clippers: In the March 28 Sports section, the photo of
It will be the first of seven games in which Griffin will get to play before the Clippers open the playoffs. Griffin was sidelined since Christmas because of hand and quadriceps injuries before returning to practice Saturday.
Initial reviews of a player who has sat out 42 games were mixed.
"He had no endurance as far as his wind, but as far as just playing basketball, he looked terrific," Coach
Rivers said Griffin would probably remain in the starting lineup.
"It's how many minutes in a row can he play," Rivers said. "If you went by [Saturday], it would be three. But hopefully by then he'll be better. … Honestly, I don't know if you can get him in condition to play 35 minutes or 30 minutes right away."
Griffin's value to the team was evident when the Clippers practiced end-of-game plays Saturday and realized all the ways they could utilize the versatile player.
"Everything is a lot smoother when Blake is on the court," point guard
Rivers hasn't been afraid to tell players it's time to retire because of a drop in athleticism. That probably won't be among the talking points if he eventually advises
"Paul has never used his athleticism," Rivers said of the 38-year-old forward, "so he's so difficult to judge. There are days in practice where he's one of the best players in the gym."
Rivers said he prefers players come to him to say they're done. Pierce has two more years left on the three-year, $10.5-million contract he signed in July and has said he will decide about his future this summer.
"He has game left in him," Rivers said. "His is going to be the desire part. He'll be far tougher than one of the athletic players where you basically have to say, 'I think it's time.' "
DeAndre Jordan pretended to be teammate
Crawford scored 14 points Sunday and has averaged more than 15 points per game since Christmas, putting him in contention again for the award.
CLIPPERS VS. BOSTON CELTICS
When: Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Staples Center.
On the air: TV: Prime; Radio: 570, 1330.
Record vs. Celtics: 0-1.