Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Just seconds before tip off against the Washington Wizards, Clippers TV announcers Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith announced that Blake Griffin would not start the game.
Blake has struggled recently with a sore left ankle, but Lawler said that a hurt hamstring is keeping him out of this game.
Griffin, after missing the entire season after being drafted, has yet to miss a game in his official NBA career. Assuming that he does not play off the bench tonight, this will be his first.
Blake's status for playing in the second half, or for playing in limited minutes off of the bench, is uncertain, but I would expect that he will not play at all tonight. He is in uniform if he decides to play.
Lawler also said that guard Chauncey Billups, who has missed all but three games this season, is close to returning. Billups played in three-on-three action today, and should return soon. Lawler said that Billups will likely either play in the team's next game (In Orlando on Wednesday) or the game after (In Miami on Friday).
Chris Paul, who has missed 9 games recently with a bruised left kneecap, is scheduled to return to three-on-three practices tomorrow.