By Jeremy Fitch
Blake Griffin has been sidelined since later December, but that has not hindered the Clippers as they have gone 11-3 in his absence. However with that being said, does anyone really believe that the Clippers are better without Griffin?
In my opinion, the Clippers can make it through the regular season without Blake and be in decent standing in the Western Conference, but come playoff time it would be hard to see how the Clippers could really make much of an impact. It was believed that Blake would be returning to the lineup in the coming days on the L.A. Clippers road trip, but plans have changed as he was sent home.
Unfortunately for Blake Griffin, he is not in the news for his return to the court. Instead we are now focusing on Griffin’s off the court antics this week, as he will be sidelined another 4-6 weeks because of an incident with a team equipment staff member in a bar in Toronto. Griffin suffered a broken hand in the scuffle, and we are still not sure what caused Blake Griffin to react the way he did. Ever since Blake came into the league he has handled his business on and off the court very professionally and has been someone many looked up to so this came as a bit of a shock.
Doc Rivers, Clippers head coach talked about the issue saying, “We have a responsibility once we decide to play in this league to conduct ourselves a certain way. We represent the Clippers.” That is a strong statement and one that should not be taken lightly by Blake Griffin, considering it is coming from a highly respected, legendary head coach.
The trade deadline is coming up, is it possible that the Clippers could look to shop Blake around during All-Star Weekend? At this point I would imagine the Clippers organization will analyze the situation like they will with all of their players; but it seems as if they will hold firm and trust the Blake has learned his lesson, even if it is the hard way.
We will have to wait and see how his actions affect his off the court deals with companies as we find out more about this incident. For now, I wish the best for Blake Griffin and hope to see him out on the court with his teammates sooner rather than later!