LOS ANGELES—Clippers Nation was dealt a severe blow on the morning of Saturday, April 22, the Los Angeles Clippers announced superstar Forward Blake Griffin will miss the remainder of the NBA Playoffs with an injured big toe. Griffin injured the plantar plate of his right big toe during the Clippers come from behind victory, 111-106.
The team is snake bitten-both Griffin and Point Guard Chris Paul were sidelined by injuries this time last year, during their first round series against the Portland Trailblazers, a series the Trailblazers won in six games.
Anyone watching Game 3 realized the injury was serious when Griffin, a normally subdued player, slammed his fist into a chair before gingerly walking to the locker room. The Clippers rallied last night over the Utah Jazz, and hold a 2-1 lead in the series.
Griffin led the team in scoring this season with 21.8 points per game, and 8 rebounds and 5 assists. The injury bug has bitten and burrowed at the Clippers all season, as the City of Angels wonder: Can the Clippers advance without Griffin?
This setback has the potential to change the core of the team as we know it. Griffin will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, as well as Chris Paul. It appears the franchise will be forced to make the agonizing decision between Griffin and Paul. The Clippers have failed to advance beyond the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs.
Griffin missed 18 games this season, injuries have plagued his career, at some point the Clippers might need to move forward and part ways.
The Clippers and Utah Jazz will play Game 4 tomorrow night, tipoff is 6:00 p.m. on TNT. The Clippers hold a narrow 2-1 lead in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.