LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin: Too early to panic

first_imgClippers coach Doc Rivers has noticed.“When you came into this year, you thought the West would be the conference with all the teams over .500,” he said. “I don’t even think there are six; I think there are six teams in the West that may be over .500 and then what, 12 or 10 in the East?“What it says is both leagues are good this year and the West needs to pick it up.”Redick brings the juicePoint guard Paul had played in 15 of the 19 games before Saturday, and shooting guard Redick had played in 16; however, Redick only played 17 seconds of the Indiana game before going down with a sprained right ankle.Rivers was talking about Redick at practice, and he mentioned something that was thought-provoking.“The part I think people miss with J.J. is when J.J. doesn’t practice, our practices are different,” he said. “When he doesn’t play, our games are different. There are guys who bring energy to the team, and J.J.’s one of those guys. And when you don’t have him, you miss a big energy guy.”Redick was out again Saturday.Multiple injuries for CP3Paul played all 82 games in 2014-15 for the first time in his career. This season he has had a fractured finger during training camp as well as a groin strain and inflamed rib cartilage.Rivers is confident things will change.“Obviously, whenever someone gets injured early in camp and then has multiple injuries, you don’t like it,” he said. “But he’ll be good.”Paul also missed Saturday’s game.On the roadThe Clippers will begin a five-game road trip Monday in Minnesota. There will also be stops in Milwaukee, Chicago, Brooklyn and Detroit. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “A little bit, but that’s how the NBA season is sometimes,” said Griffin, when asked if he felt like the team has been on a treadmill. “Sometimes you feel like you’re working hard and doing all the right things, and it’s not happening.“So when that happens, you’ve just gotta work even harder. Eventually, we’ll get out of it. Everything evens out. It’s all a roller coaster over the season, not getting too high with the highs and not getting too low with the lows.”Tough Eastern ConferenceThe Western Conference has been so much stronger than the Eastern circuit in recent seasons. Things, at least so far, are different this season.At the outset of play Saturday, there were 10 teams from the East with better than .500 records. In the West, there were six.center_img The L.A. Clippers will have played 20 games after Saturday night’s contest against the Orlando Magic. That’s just about a quarter of the season.For a team that was so highly touted at the outset, starting 10-9 was not what coach coach Doc Rivers and his players could have envisioned. Yes, they won three in a row and four of five before Wednesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, but it’s still hard to get excited about the overall record.And since starting guards Chris Paul and J.J. Redick had already missed a handful of games with injuries, it has felt more like one step forward, one step back.Blake Griffin, the team’s ultra-talented power forward, intimated at practice Friday that it’s too early to be concerned.last_img

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