Blake Griffin out for playoffs, Chris Paul out at least four weeks
It’s bad news all around, but in a twist, Griffin suffered the more significant injury.
I don’t see Paul returning in these playoffs, especially with Griffin also out. The Clippers just don’t have enough talent left to remain alive another month – and there’s no guarantee Paul will recover even that quickly.
Suddenly, this part of the playoff bracket looks suspect. Griffin and Paul are hurt for the Clippers. Stephen Curry is hurt for the Warriors. The Trail Blazers are an up-and-coming team that’s still a clear notch below the West’s upper echelon. The Rockets, down 3-1 to Golden State, are even worse. One of those four teams will be in the conference finals.
If the Warriors survive long enough for Curry to return, they’ll again warrant status as championship favorite. It looks nearly impossible for the Clippers – who will likely rely more heavily on Austin Rivers and Pablo Prigioni at point guard and Jeff Green, Wesley Johnson and Paul Pierce in small-ball lineups – to stand in Golden State’s way. The door is open for Portland, tied 2-2, to make some noise.