L.A. Clippers rumors have All-Star Blake Griffin needing to have knee surgery. The Clippers will be without Griffin until at least early 2017, with the injury being called "cumulative" rather than something that took place during an in-game incident. A report by ESPN.com early on Monday (Dec. 19) states that a minor surgery on his right knee will take place later this week and that he will be out for a short time to recover from it.
Griffin had been dealing with a sore knee for most of December but went through additional medical tests that revealed a surgery would be needed to clean up the area. This is not the same knee that he injured during his rookie NBA season, so it isn't something that has reoccurred for him. Either way, it will be a huge loss for a Clippers team that is trying to battle for one of the top playoff spots in the Western Conference.
Coming out of the weekend, the updated NBA standings have the Clippers at 20-8 overall and fourth place in the West. The Clippers were just overtaken by a red-hot Houston Rockets team (21-7) that has now won 10-straight games. The Clippers also trail the Golden State Warriors (24-4) and San Antonio Spurs (22-5) through the first chunk of the NBA regular season. Missing Griffin could be tough for the team, but he now gets some much-needed midseason rest as a result.
These L.A. Clippers rumors will likely get addressed in more detail when the team speaks with the press on Monday. Head coach Doc Rivers did speak briefly about the situation already, passing on the key information that this knee injury didn't take place during a game against the Warriors earlier in December. That was the assumed reason for Griffin's sore knee, making the revelation that knee surgery was needed a bit surprising to Clippers fans and NBA analysts.
Through 26 games this season, Blake Griffin is averaging 21.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. Those numbers could easily put Griffin on the Western Conference All-Star team again, but he needs to return quickly from this knee surgery to stay at the forefront of the race to start that game. It's going to be a roster packed with scorers this season, so Griffin is placed at an extreme disadvantage if he misses too many Clippers games.
The L.A. Clippers have a packed schedule of games coming up, with eight left in the month of December. That includes matchups with the Denver Nuggets (Dec. 20), San Antonio Spurs (Dec. 22), and Dallas Mavericks (Dec. 23) over the next week. The Clippers also have to play the Houston Rockets (Dec. 30) and Oklahoma City Thunder (Dec. 31) to wrap up the month. Blake Griffin will miss all eight games, but beyond that, it will simply be guesswork to say how many more games he will miss.
Seven of the first eight games that the Clippers play in January will be at Staples Center, softening the blow of losing Griffin just a bit. Struggling opponents like the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and Miami Heat are on that part of the schedule, leveling the playing field a bit for one of the playoff contenders in the West.
More news will likely come out about this situation with Blake Griffin and it is expected that Doc Rivers will again address the media on Monday (Dec. 19). The Clippers have the day off on Monday to prepare the team for life without Griffin, but it isn't something new for the franchise. Griffin only played 35 games during the 2015-16 NBA season, putting the team in a tough position that year as well. Now these latest L.A. Clippers rumors suggest the team will get tested again, especially with eight more games in December.
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