Updates from Wednesday, April 2
Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times has the latest on Griffin:
The Clippers Twitter account later confirmed Griffin would be playing tonight vs. the Suns:
Updates from Monday, March 31
Dan Woike of the Orange County Register provides a synopsis of Clippers head coach Doc Rivers discussing Blake Griffin's injury status:
Blake Griffin will start for #Clippers.— Los Angeles Clippers (@LAClippers) April 3, 2014
The Timberwolves later confirmed Griffin's status for Monday nights game:
Doc Rivers said Blake Griffin is "50-50" to play tonight against Minnesota.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) March 31, 2014
ESPN LA's Arash Markazi reports who will be starting in his place:
The #Clippers have announced Blake Griffin (back spasms) will not play tonight.— MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) March 31, 2014
Updates from Sunday, March 30
Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times has the latest on Blake Griffin's injured back:
Blake Griffin will not play. Jared Dudley will get the start.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) March 31, 2014
Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported on the ominous development:
Hearing Blake Griffin doubtful for Clippers at Minny Monday night with back spasms.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) March 30, 2014
Blake Griffin goes down holding lower back.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) March 30, 2014
The Clippers offered an update:
Griffin helped up off court by teammates, limping to locker room.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) March 30, 2014
Orange County Register reporter Dan Woike had a more detailed update later on:
UPDATE: Blake Griffin (lower back spasms) return is doubtful— Los Angeles Clippers (@LAClippers) March 30, 2014
Doc said Blake Griffin is day-to-day with back spasms. Expects to know more after further testing.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) March 30, 2014
Woike noted that Griffin had been dealing with a sore back for several weeks:
Doc said if it's his decision whether or not Blake Griffin plays in upcoming days, he'll hold him out.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) March 30, 2014
Griffin already had seven points in six minutes versus Houston at the Toyota Center before exiting Saturday's game.
Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle recently endorsed Griffin as a potential MVP candidate, per Eric Patten of Clippers.com:
Blake Griffin had been dealing with a sore back over the past few weeks.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) March 30, 2014
As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, Griffin has been somewhat polarizing in terms of his overall development. However, he's made significant strides in the 2013-14 campaign, becoming a more complete player rather than a mere athletic marvel and dunking specialist.
ESPN.com's Ethan Strauss compared Griffin's developed ball-handling and passing skills in the open floor to Boris Diaw—albeit with a far more imposing frame:
Rick Carlisle on Blake for MVP: "He's had a monster year statistically & his team's winning at a high level..."— Eric Patten (@EricPatten) March 27, 2014
Losing Griffin for any extended period of time would be devastating for coach Doc Rivers' squad, which has already dealt with the absence of superstar point guard Chris Paul for a number of games this season. The Clippers have stepped up well enough whenever someone has exited the lineup, but Griffin's improvement has been a big key in LA's immense success.
Ahead of Saturday's showdown in Houston, just one game separated the Clippers and the Rockets for third in the Western Conference standings. With the playoffs quickly approaching, Rivers has to balance battling for postseason seeding with making sure Griffin is fit enough for a potential title run.