Los Angeles Clippers’ rookie forward Blake Griffin may miss up to six weeks with a stress fracture of his left patella suffered during the Clippers’ last preseason game vs. the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, October 23rd.
Further information regarding Griffin’s course of treatment will be made available later.
It’s easy to frame this injury as the product of some paranormal force working against the franchise. I don’t care much for superstition. Here’s what Griffin’s injury means on a more practical level:
- Clipper fans will have to wait, which is cruel because they’ve been waiting a really, really long time. 25 years of waiting. Over time, all that waiting produces a desperate desire to experience something meaningful as a fan. Blake Griffin’s potential and exuberance for the game embody that for people who care about the Clippers. Unfortunately they’ll have to wait another month or so before they can see him in that context.
- Mike Dunleavy has 96 minutes per night to distribute in the frontcourt and DeAndre Jordan — along with Craig Smith — just picked up a whole lot more of them. Over the past year, Jordan has demonstrated that he’s got the tools and trajectory to be an NBA-caliber center. It will be a process — but one that just got expedited a little bit.
- Any tension over the battle for playing time at the small forward spot has been diminished. Given prevailing trends in the league, expect to see quite a bit of Al Thornton and Rasual Butler together as a forward tandem, particularly against smaller teams (which is about half the league now). Al is actually a somewhat more efficient offensive player at the 4, because those minutes afford him fewer opportunities to launch from 19 feet. The downside, of course, is that he gives up a lot defensively and on the glass.
There isn’t a fan base in the world with a more exquisitely developed sense of patience than Clipper Nación.
This will happen. Promise. Just not right away.
Has it ever?