Clippers vow to keep fighting with Blake Griffin sidelined by knee injury

first_imgThings took a turn for the worse when the Clippers, mired in a nine-game losing streak, learned Patrick Beverley would be sidelined for the remainder of the season after undergoing right knee surgery last Wednesday. Griffin’s injury late in Monday’s game against the Lakers was another punch in the gut.DeAndre Jordan is the last starter standing from their opening-night lineup Oct. 19.Austin Rivers said the season is far from over. There is time to recover and make the playoffs. The Clippers (8-11) haven’t reached the one-quarter mark in the NBA’s 82-game regular season schedule, and there is a great deal of basketball still to be played.“I hope so,” he said. “The good thing is we’ll have Gallo and Milos back in the next couple of weeks. Obviously, Pat is not going to be with us for the remainder of the season, and B.G. is going to be back in six weeks. So, I think we’ll have plenty of time. That’s even before the All-Star break.“The thing is we’ve got to continue to win these games without these guys.”The Clippers will take a three-game winning streak into Thursday’s game against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. Their lineup will look a good deal different than it was for their Oct. 24 victory over the Jazz, with Jordan the only one still healthy enough to play.Austin Rivers and Lou Williams are expected to start in place of Teodosic and Beverley, as they have for the past three games. Wesley Johnson is expected to start in Gallinari’s spot at small forward, with Montrezl Harrell possibly replacing Griffin at the power forward position.It’s all subject to change, though.“The one thing we’re not going to do is be sold on a starting lineup right now,” Doc Rivers said when asked to name Griffin’s replacement “We’ve just got to keep mixing and matching and try to pull out single games. That’s how we have to play. “ PLAYA VISTA — Now what? What do the Clippers do without All-Star power forward Blake Griffin for the next two months? How do they regroup and move ahead with their leading scorer and best all-around player sidelined by a sprained left knee? How will they survive without three other injured starters?Doc Rivers took the first step by laughing Wednesday.What else could he do? Crying was simply wasted energy.There was no talk of the Clippers Curse. That wasn’t worth his time or effort either. Rivers dismissed widespread speculation that his job could be in jeopardy or that the Clippers would begin an immediate rebuilding of the franchise. After all, the Clippers underwent an offseason makeover when they traded Chris Paul and took away Rivers’ management duties.“The day I start answering the internet people is the day I’m an internet person,” Rivers said, laughing. “That’s not going to happen. I don’t listen to that stuff. We’re going to do what’s best for the franchise. Always. That’s what we’re going to keep doing.”What’s next?“We’ve just got to try to piece it together the best we can,” he said. “There’s not much you can do about it, but you can’t lay down, I can tell you that. You have to play. You have to teach. I’ve been in this situation before. You’ll find your joy in this, as well, as a coach and as players.”The Clippers haven’t been the Clippers since Milos Teodosic suffered a plantar fascia injury in his left foot in the first half of the second game of the season Oct. 21. They took another hit when Danilo Gallinari was sidelined by a strained glute Nov. 5.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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