On the same day it was reveled that Steph Curry will miss at least two weeks or more due to a knee injury, Clippers received their double-whammy in Game 4 when Paul went down with a broken hand. Earlier in the day things were looking promising for the Clippers. The Warriors misfortunate of Curry’s injury, was just the break the Clippers needed for their next
potential opponent. Well the outlook for the Clippers is grim at best. Not to sounds depressing (I am), but the Clippers will have a hard time getting past the Blazers now.
You can’t categorize it as anything but a fluke accident. Paul reaches in for the ball and comes away with a broken hand. This is the last player you’d want to be injured at this point if you are the Clippers. Paul has been a rock for the team. One of NBA’s best leaders, won’t be leading the Clips any further in these playoffs.
L.A. NBA beat reporter J.A. Adande had more on the harsh reality the Clippers are facing.
— CLIPPERS BEAT BLOG (@ClipperBeat) April 26, 2016
To make matters worse, what’s getting lost in the Paul news is that Blake Griffin left the game shortly after Paul did. Griffin is said to have re-injured his left quad. Griffin’s status is a lot less clear at this time, more will be revealed in the next day. After the game Doc was asked about Griffin’s injury, to which he responded that he’s 50/50.
Losing Paul means that the Clippers don’t have much of a chance to compete with the Warriors in the next round. Losing Griffin also, means that they don’t have much of a chance to get pass the Blazers. Oh, how have the mighty fallen within a day.
The injuries to Paul and Griffin are complete game-changers. The Blazers now must have all the confidence and momentum going forward. I won’t even go back on all the blog entries, podcast, videos, and silly tweets I produced about the deathly chance the Blazers have in the series. I’m eating crow already, and the series is just tied at the moment.
Aside from the obvious questions of who will take over for Paul’s leadership and on-court presence and the mismatch that Blake Griffin was for the Blazers, will be how does Doc Rivers make things work with the pieces he has left. Is DeAndre Jordan the go-to guy now? Can Jamal Crawford go from sixth man to the man? Will Doc have to rely on his son to carry the load at the point (doomsday scenario)? Can a new gameplan be implemented in the middle of a series for the healthy guys remaining?
So many questions left to be answered. This is why they paid Rivers the big bucks, to coach his guys up. We will now see if Rivers is who we thought he was. Is he the elite championship coach that the Clippers were banking on when they acquired him from Boston. The season isn’t over yet for the Clippers. They can win two out of the next three games. They will just have to do it without Paul the rest of the way. For the Clippers sake, hopefully Griffin won’t be joining Paul for that.
Photo Credit: Steve Dykes/Getty Images