It's been a strange pre-season to be sure. The first three games were a roller coaster - big loss, big win, big loss. The next four have been more competitive, but all losses - and all have featured lackluster third quarter performances that have proven too much for the young team to overcome. So although the team seems to be opening games well, they've come out flat after halftime.
Through it all, at least there's been Blake Griffin to watch. Griffin has been the best rebounder in the entire NBA in pre-season, and one of the best scorers. He's also shooting 60%. But he sat out Sunday's game against Denver to rest a slightly twisted ankle, and he may sit out the finale as well.
On Sunday, Vinny Del Negro's comments to Lisa Dillman made it sound like Griffin would play tonight: "I expect him to play Tuesday, unless something comes up in the next 48 hours I don't know about. I don't see where there would be a problem." Well, maybe something came up in those 48 hours, because on Monday his comments to Lisa D were a little different: "I want to see where he's at and probably play it safe with Blake. I want to see how he feels. Maybe we'll get him a few minutes or not. I just don't know yet."
For Griffin's part, he insists that the ankle is fine and that if this were a regular season game he'd be playing. The first pre-season game against the Kings was BG's 2010 coming out party, as he went off for 18 points on 7 for 7 shooting in only 23 minutes. Let's hope we get a chance to see him posterize DeMarcus Cousins again tonight.
DeAndre Jordan has missed the last three and half pre-season games with a sore hamstring, but may be able to play tonight.
The problem for the Clippers will be contending with Tyreke Evans, who killed them a couple of times last season, and was killing them in the first pre-season game before taking a seat.