clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Clippers Mid-Season Progress Report: Blake Griffin

New, comments

How will our writers grade the Clippers' injured superstar?

When you see a bad report card for the first time.
When you see a bad report card for the first time.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Griffin has played tremendous basketball this season.  MVP-candidacy level basketball.  He's averaging 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists per game.  The issue is that he's only played 30 games--but that's not even the real issue.  The real issue is that he could have been playing for more than the past two weeks had he not punched assistant equipment manager Mathias Testi in the face, breaking his hand and sidelining him for an additional 6-8 weeks just as he was on the verge of returning to the court from a knee injury.

Thomas Wood: C. This grade is not for his on-court play, which has been his typical A-grade stuff. This is for not being on the floor enough. Injuries happen to everyone, but off-court fights don't. When you're the night in night out star of a franchise, you have to be diligent about not putting yourself in situations where you needlessly miss games. It's possible that Blake was justified in wailing on a member of the team's equipment staff (and Blake's own entourage, apparently), but we've been given little evidence of that so far. And I hope it would be something mighty offensive to justify breaking his shooting hand and keeping himself on the bench for what might be an extra two months.

Niels Pineda: NP.  I don't think Griffin has played enough to warrant an actual letter grade, but if grades were due, I'd give him a No Pass. Don't get me wrong, he started off at an MVP level. His stroke was sweet, his energy was there, and he looked absolutely fantastic. But as the season dragged on, his shooting began to dip a bit, his inconsistency showed when his first few shots didn't fall, and then... well, we know the rest of the story. Basketball is a team sport, and it's obvious the Clippers need him on the court. If you call his actions idiotic, moronic, or any other variation of stupid, then you wouldn't be wrong. But I also see them as incredibly selfish. His teammates have been fighting hard every night to hold down the fort, and just as the Flying Lion was ready to take flight, he did arguably the worst thing of his career. And for that, he doesn't get a pass.

Lucas Hann: F.  Blake Griffin has been an A+ in the 30 games he played, but he let his teammates down far more than some missed shots or turnovers ever could have.  I love Blake, and I'm happy that all of these trade rumors aren't real, and I'm looking forward to his return and the rest of his career as a Clipper--but that doesn't mean I can't accept reality before I move on from it.