Whenever the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers meet it’s a reminder of the battle for supremacy in the City of Angels. Although the Lakers have collected far more hardware during the franchise’s history, recent success is more in favor of the Clippers.
However, the 2017-18 season has been a reality shock for both teams, as they each sit below .500. While attempting to find their identity following the departure of Chris Paul, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers looked to All-Star forward Blake Griffin to take a step forward in his maturity and assume increased responsibilities.
Unfortunately for Rivers and the Clippers, Griffin saw his season come to a standstill when he sprained his knee during the fourth quarter of a Nov. 27 matchup against the Lakers. Where the Clippers did have good fortune is the Slam Dunk champion avoided structural damage.
Nonetheless, a sprained MCL in his left knee has sidelined Griffin for the past month. But according to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times, Griffin may return to the court on Friday against the Lakers:
Doc Rivers said Blake Griffin “actually could” play Friday night against the Lakers because “he’s that close” to being ready after being out 13 games with left knee injury
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) December 27, 2017
Griffin suffered the injury when teammate Austin Rivers fell into his leg while they went for a loose ball. Realizing the grand scheme of things regarding Griffin’s health history, he and the Clippers decided to play it safe.
Since the injury, the Clippers have put together a 5-8 record, delegating the scoring to players like Rivers, Lou Williams, and DeAndre Jordan. It is quite the task to replace Griffin’s averages of 23.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists.
Particularly when taking into account Patrick Beverley is lost for the season, and Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic also having missed time.
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