NBA Rumors: Pistons' Blake Griffin Likely to Miss Bucks Series with Knee Injury

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2019

Detroit Pistons' Blake Griffin, right, watches from the bench during the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks, Sunday, April 14, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin is reportedly expected to miss the team's first-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks because of a left knee injury.

Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reported there is a "slim chance" Griffin returns this weekend, which means he'll miss at least three games. The plan is to list him as "day to day," but the expectation is Griffin's season is over.

The All-Star forward has been in and out of the lineup with a sprained knee for weeks. He missed most of the Pistons' penultimate game against the Memphis Grizzlies and sat out their finale against the New York Knicks, wins the team needed to clinch a playoff berth.

"Obviously, it's very, very frustrating. You sacrifice your body throughout the year and play through little injuries to get to this point," Griffin told reporters after the Pistons' 121-86 loss in Milwaukee. "Obviously, very frustrated. I never like to feel like I'm leaving my guys out there.

"I have to do what our organization, our training staff, our doctors think is best—and that's the bottom line."

Griffin, 30, averaged 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists while leading the Pistons to their first playoff berth since 2015-16. He played in 75 games, his most since the 2013-14 campaign. No stranger to injuries, Griffin described his as "10 out of 10" and said he would have played Sunday if it were in his hands.

"I don't have a great answer to that. It's a complicated answer. If it was pain, I would easily play with pain. It's a complication situation," Griffin said. "If it was just my decision, I would have played."

The Pistons have little incentive to push Griffin into action. They're not beating the Bucks whether he's on the floor or not. His presence might be the difference between a 35-point loss and a 20-point loss, but that's still quite the chasm to fill.

Detroit has three more years of max-level salary to pay Griffin. Sending him out there and potentially forcing a more serious injury—one that makes that contract look shakier than it already does—is not the most prudent move.

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