The San Antonio Spurs finally begin the second round of the playoffs Tuesday and their opponents, the Los Angeles Clippers are going to be going in to the series at least a quarter of a man down. The Associated Press reports Blake Griffin will play, but if you ask Griffin he’s operating between “75 and 80 percent.” Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro was a little more pessimistic about the injury.
“Del Negro said Griffin’s injury is the kind that might sideline him for a week if this were the regular season. Del Negro said a decision on Griffin won’t be made until Tuesday.”
Let’s get one thing out of the way here. Griffin is playing. It’s the playoffs and you don’t miss playoff games unless you absolutely have to.
The larger question is how effective will Blake be. At 100 percent, the Spurs don’t really have anyone that can match Blake Griffin’s speed and strength. Now defending the pick-and-roll becomes much more manageable, though it won’t be easy after watching Chris Paul attack the Grizzlies pick-and-roll defense again and again.
Still, this makes things much easier on the guys who will likely guard Griffin, namely Boris Diaw and DeJuan Blair. Game One tips off from the AT&T Center at 8:30 Tuesday night.