Clippers' Blake Griffin To Have Season-Ending Knee Surgery

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Clippers Fans Try To Keep This In Perspective

And why shouldn’t they? With all the other bad stuff that has happened to this franchise, Clipper fans have to give themselves some reason to not jump off the ledge.

Thankfully, SB Nation’s Clippers blog Clips Nation is there to provide that.

Not to go too philosophical on you citizens, but let’s keep it all in perspective. A fire alarm sounded in a Memphis Arena just before 7 PM pacific time last night, which seemed to negatively impact the Clippers chances of winning a basketball game. In my recap, I wondered if it had been an “act of God.” In retrospect, it was a terribly unfortunate use of words, when you consider that about 5 hours earlier, an earthquake had killed tens of thousands of people in Haiti – a fact of which I was unaware at the time in my Clippers-centric universe.

The Clippers weren’t going to win an NBA championship this season. And assuming that the prognosis continues to be that Blake Griffin will make a full recovery, even with a surgery now necessary, today’s announcement doesn’t impact how could the Clippers can be next season. So while our gratification at watching him play basketball will be delayed for 40 additional NBA games or so, it remains “just a game” and we’ll just look forward to his debut next year. We’re used to it – we can handle it.

It’s true – the Clippers weren’t winning the championship this year, and far worse things happened in the world yesterday. But there also remains the possibility that Blake Griffin returns from his knee surgery as a player that isn’t as explosive as he was pre-injury. That’s a pretty sobering thought for anyone operating in a Clipper-centric world.

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Clippers Cursed Again: Blake Griffin To Have Season-Ending Surgery

Remember way back on draft day, when there were so many people joking that Blake Griffin’s going to be in trouble because he was drafted by the cursed Clippers? Maybe there’s actually something to that curse.

The Clippers announced that Griffin will undergo season-ending surgery on the left patella tendon in his knee, the same injury that was originally only supposed to sideline him for six weeks back in October.

Griffin initially suffered the injury before training camp, then reaggravated it during the preseason. He was originally supposed to miss six weeks, but his recovery was then pushed back to late January because he was only cleared to increase his rehabilitation in late-December.

The saddest part is that the Clippers were beginning to show some promise, having won four games in a row before last night’s loss to Memphis. Now, the team’s playoff chances have been severely dampened.

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SBN's Clips Nation: Here We Go Again

For SBN’s Clippers blog, Clips Nation, it feels like deja vu all over again; a promising young talent sucked into the injury vortex. From Clips Nation:

Six weeks. If we take that at face value, it’s 22 games. Oh, and then there’s the week of non-contact drills after he’s cleared to play. And then of course he’ll have to practice after he’s cleared for contact before he can get in a game. Oh, but the NBA schedule just doesn’t allow a lot of time for practices, so he won’t be able to get practices in with the team. Any of this sound familiar? Does six weeks mean six weeks, or does it mean All Star Break?

The Clipper certainly don’t want to rush Griffin back to the court and risk further injury, but the bigger question for Clippers fans is what does this mean for the team’s outlook for the season? Again, from Clips Nation:

Can the team overcome this injury? If everyone else is relatively healthy (and bear in mind that Baron Davis is still a game time decision for tomorrow), it’s still a better team than last year. The depth we’ve been discussing will just get tested early. Certainly the way that DeAndre Jordan and Craig Smith have played in pre-season the team will have some options in the front court. It’s not like we’re talking about giving major minutes to Nick Fazekas. […] It seems entirely possible that they could ride that early soft schedule to a respectable record during Blake’s absence. If he’s actually back on the court in six weeks, and the team is around .500 (and 11 wins seems reasonable given the number of home games and weaker opponents on the early schedule), then the boost of getting him back might be able to carry them through the tougher stretches that lie ahead.

If this were any other team, this would be a plausible scenario. But this is the Clippers. A franchise with a history so woebegone that even Bill Simmons cannot overstate their suffering. Even rational people (read: not Joe Buck or Tim McCarver) are beginning to wonder if there might really be some type of supernatural bad luck at play here:

As for the Clippers curse, obviously, that’s ridiculous and there’s no such thing… but seriously, what the hell? So, just in case, if any of you know of any ceremonies that break curses, let’s hear them. I don’t personally want to be involved in sacrificing a goat, but I’m sure someone out there would step up if that’s what it takes.

Things are bad Clippers fans, but trust us, you don’t want to do that. It’s a lot less cool than it sounds. A lot less.

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Worse Than Expected: Blake Griffin Has Broken Kneecap

That second opinion that Griffin received Monday night revealed some bad news for him and the Clippers:

Blake Griffin’s NBA debut has been pushed back indefinitely after the Los Angeles Clippers revealed late Monday night that their No. 1 overall draft pick has a broken left kneecap.

The stress fracture could sideline the Oklahoma star for six weeks, the team announced, promising further information Tuesday.

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Blake Griffin Seeking Second Opinion, Still Questionable For Opener

The LA Times reports that Blake Griffin will seek a second opinion on his injured knee, and is still listed as questionable for the teams’ season opener on Tuesday against the crosstown Lakers.

The original diagnosis of Griffin’s injury was a bone bruise. Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy declined to elaborate on why Griffin felt compelled to seek a second opinion.

Second opinions are never good, but here’s to hoping the curse of the Clippers doesn’t devour another young promising talent.

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Clippers Fans Cross Their Fingers with Griffin's Injury

SBN’s Clips Nation confronts the injury head on:

The gorilla in the room for the Clippers is always injuries. This summer, after LA won the lottery, every writer’s angle was how the Clippers history with first overall picks was terrible: Michael Olowokandi and Danny Manning. But the simple fact is, Manning was the absolutely correct pick – he just happened to blow out his ACL early in his rookie season. So while everyone knew that Blake Griffin would never ever be a Kandi-style bust, one can never be sure about injuries, and certainly less so when you’re dealing with the Clippers, so a Manning-like catastrophe hangs over the head of Clips Nation like the sword of Damacles.

So while it would be silly to make too much of a little swelling in a knee, one understands if Clipper fans get a little nervous. The prize rookie has now been injured, however minorly, three times – at the end of Summer League, just before training camp, and at the end of pre-season – and the regular season hasn’t even started yet. Clipper fans have simply learned to expect the worst. […]

But before we all jump to the worst-case scenario conclusions, let’s remember that at this time last season we had similar concerns about Eric Gordon. In fact, if anything the ‘injury-prone’ case was easier to make with EJ. He’d missed games his freshman season at Indiana, and had also played hurt, which affected his game. Then he got hurt in Summer League. Then he got hurt in training camp. But all he did was lead the team in total minutes played while appearing in 78 games. So let’s not get too worked up about an injury that is classified as day-to-day before the season has already started. Might he miss a couple of games? Sure, he might. And then again he might not. In either case, over the course of an 82 game season, it’s not a problem.

All good thoughts, but careful, there… We don’t want to want to jinx Eric Gordon, too.

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Clippers' Blake Griffin 'Day-to-Day' With Knee Injury, Questionable for NBA Opener

Ever since the Clippers won the NBA lottery last April, onlookers have been keeping their fingers crossed that Blake Griffin could perhaps avoid the scourge that is the Clipper Curse. Many men have come to L.A. before him, and nary a one has left with his ACL in tact.

Keeping with the theme of cartoonish misfortune, Griffin’s first injury as Clipper would happen on a emphatic dunk:

 

The L.A. Times reports:

He hurt his left knee on the play and his status for the season opener against the Lakers on Tuesday is in question, considered day to day.

What is ominous for the Clippers is that this was the same knee Griffin hurt several days before training camp. […] Griffin had treatment on the knee after practice and will be examined by the team doctor Monday.

"There is some swelling in there, so we’ll see what happens," Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy. said.

Ordinarily, this would be the sort injury you might shrug off, but again, this is the Clippers, a franchise shrouded by a long and distinguished history of calamity. Stay tuned.

(And here’s to hoping it’s a false alarm, because man, that block-dunk combo was impressive.)

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