Thursday , Jan , 14 , 2010 Oly Sandor

How will Blake Griffin’s injury impact cursed L.A. Clippers?

For months, he has been two weeks from returning. Until now. The Los Angeles Clippers finally made official what most suspected – Blake Griffin, the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, will sit the remainder of the season because his injured knee has not healed. The power forward initially sustained the injury in training camp and was supposed to miss just six weeks of the regular season. The weeks, however, became months. And it was painfully obvious something was amiss …


How will Blake Griffin's injury impact cursed L.A. Clippers?For months, he has been two weeks from returning. Until now.

The Los Angeles Clippers finally made official what most suspected – Blake Griffin, the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, will sit the remainder of the season because his injured knee has not healed.

The power forward initially sustained the injury in training camp and was supposed to miss just six weeks of the regular season. The weeks, however, became months. And it was painfully obvious something was amiss.

So, how will missing his entire rookie campaign impact Griffin?

For now, comparisons to the Portland Trail Blazers’ Greg Oden are cruel and premature. Griffin could return to health and  have a productive career pulling down rebounds and scoring from the low block.

Los Angeles’ other team should have concerns, though. Even if Griffin makes a full recovery, he still loses a year of development. However, there’s no guarantee he makes a full recovery, which would be disastrous for a player who relies on athleticism to succeed

Of course, the injury is significant for the cursed Clippers, who were hoping Griffin would end their run as Staples Centre’s other team. Instead of changing their losing culture, the young four-man could become the latest chapter in the franchise’s sad history.

Remember, the Clippers had options at the NBA draft. They could have traded down a spot or two, gotten back a serviceable player, and taken Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn or Brandon Jennings. Any of these blue-chip point guards would work backing-up Baron Davis in the short-term and playing opposite to fellow youngster Eric Gordon.

Ironically, Zach Randolph is thriving. Last summer, after drafting Griffin, the Clippers dealt the temperamental Randolph to the Memphis Grizzlies because they worried he’d take up Griffin’s minutes and The Hoops Family would have a negative influence.

This seemed prudent, but Randolph – free from the Clippers curse – has re-established himself in Tennessee. For instance, he’s averaging over 20 points and 11 rebounds per game. He has been a model citizen. And the surprising Grizzlies are in contention for a playoff spot.

Instead of Griffin, the hard luck franchise could have drafted a promising table-setter for the future, brought-in a rotation player, and kept Randolph, a 20-10 big-man when in the proper situation.

Even when trying to do right, the Clippers, it seems, end up getting it wrong. 

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