NBA PLAYOFFS -- Without Blake Griffin Clippers face uphill climb
By Sean Yu
Thu, 27 Apr 2017
Los Angeles -- Down 3-2, the Los Angeles Clippers still have playoff life. But without their injured forward Blake Griffin and with Game 6 on the road in Utah, the Clips are facing certain elimination
Sure, the Clips still have Chris Paul, but as Game 5 has shown, he can't will his team to victory despite putting up a gallant effort of 28 points and 9 assists. With only J.J. Redick (26) and DeAndre Jordan (14 points, 12 rebounds) providing meaningful help, the Jazz prevailed in a close encounter, 96-92.
In contrast, the Jazz had so much more firepower.
In Game 5, for instance, Gordon Hayward had 27, Rodney Hood tallied 16 while four other players scored at least 10 points each.
The Clippers cannot beat the Jazz with just Chris Paul and two other guys. They need more teammates to step up against a Utah team that is 9-deep.
Before he was lost for the duration of the playoffs due to a toe injury that may or may not require surgery, Blake Griffin had played in three playoffs games. In those contests the 6-foot-9 power forward averaged 20.3 points, 6 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
Griffin's numbers can be replenished on any given night but his mere presence, which spaces the floor and spreads the defense is difficult to replace.
If the Clippers make another early post-season exit, speculations are rampant that the team could be imploded and head towards rebuilding. But should the Clips break up their core guys and start fresh/
Maybe they should. Or may be but.
One thing is sure: the Clips have a long and difficult summer ahead.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Sean Yu.
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