Every few seconds while Blake Griffin stood in the locker room talking to the media after the Clippers’ surprising loss to the Indiana Pacers, he shifted his weight off his right leg.
During the game, Griffin had worn a black sleeve on his right leg with a small compression pad on his knee for more comfort.
He completed his night’s work with 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three turnovers.
When first asked about the knee, having been told he didn’t look his explosive self, Griffin said he was fine.
Then after a few minutes, Griffin was a bit more open.
“It’s some swelling,” Griffin said. “I got kicked in the calf in the Detroit game.”
Clippers trending wrong way
Recently, the Clippers have been trending in the wrong direction.
And what is most infuriating about this slide is that it has been the Clippers’ defense that has been taking the most hits.
Not surprisingly, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers is not pleased to see his team’s defense take a turn for the worse.
In their last nine games, the Clippers have allowed 100 points or more in seven of the games. They have given up 106.2 points per game during that stretch.
This was a team that had put an emphasis on defense during training camp. This was a team that was playing some of the best defense in the NBA when the season started.
And it showed.
In their first eight games, when their defense was in full-bore stop mode, they gave up more than 100 points just once. They surrendered just 88 points per game over the span.
Now, they have been unable to get those same stops on defense.
“I think that’s everywhere,” Rivers said. “And I think it starts individually and then it goes out to all the little things. It’s fixable, but I don’t like the trend.”
The Clippers are keeping a close eye on the progress of rookie Diamond Stone while he plays for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA’s Development League. Rivers said Dee Brown, the Clippers’ director of player programs, has been with Stone, who is averaging 20.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game. “He’s playing well,” Rivers said. “He’s enjoying himself…So it’s been really good for him.”