Clippers’ Blake Griffin will have more time to recover from quadriceps injury
Blake Griffin’s bothersome quadriceps shouldn’t be an issue by the time he plays his next game for the Clippers.
Then there’s his broken right hand, which could hurt him even if it’s not painful.
Griffin injured his shooting hand when he punched a team assistant equipment manager on Jan. 23 in Toronto, leading to concerns about how it will affect his performance upon his return.
“Obviously, not being able to shoot for a long period of time has to have an impact on you, especially Blake as a guy who works on his shot so much every day,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said Sunday before his team’s 120-93 victory over the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center.
Griffin continually works with shooting coach Bob Thate before practices and games, a routine that has been put on hold while the Clippers wait for Griffin’s return.
His hand injury is expected to sideline him from four to six weeks and he probably will serve a suspension after that for his involvement in the altercation. Griffin could rejoin the team on the bench as soon as this week.
He was having perhaps the best season of his career before sustaining a partially torn quadriceps injury that sidelined him the day after Christmas, averaging 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting 50.8%.
If there was any consolation amid the fiasco in Toronto it was that Griffin’s additional time off should allow his quadriceps to be fully healed when he comes back.
Ready for football
The next Los Angeles Rams game Paul Pierce attends will be his first.
The veteran Clippers forward said he went to some L.A. Raiders games at the Coliseum growing up in Inglewood and even attended a San Diego Chargers game but has never seen the Rams.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Pierce said of the return of the Rams after a 22-year absence. “We had the Forum, the Lakers played there, so just to have a sports team back there is good for the city.”
The Rams are not scheduled to move into their new stadium in Inglewood until 2019, meaning Pierce has time to figure out possible connections to the team.
“Hopefully I can be part of some business venture or maybe open up like a sports bar or something,” said Pierce, noting he would be retired by then. “Something for the city.”
Rivers said he was also pleased about the NFL’s return to Southern California, if only because it will result in local appearances by his beloved Chicago Bears and New England Patriots.
Ten more days
Jeff Ayres might be sticking with the Clippers a bit longer more because of what he’s said than what he’s done.
“Even in his short minutes, you can hear his talk already on the floor defensively,” Rivers said of the journeyman forward whom the coach confirmed had earned a second 10-day contract. “I like his energy.”
Rivers also described Ayres as a “high IQ player” after having spent two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. Of course, there is one apparent drawback to keeping Ayres around.
“Really,” Rivers joked, “he’s shown me he’s a poor dresser.”
The Clippers recalled rookie forward Branden Dawson from Grand Rapids of the Development League.
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