Bad news for the Los Angeles Clippers as superstar forward Blake Griffin will have minor surgery on his right knee and be out of the lineup for 3-6 weeks. What does this mean from a betting perspective on the Clips in that time span? Probably nothing good.
Los Angeles was the best team in the NBA for the first month or so of the season as it started 14-2. But following a loss in Washington on Sunday night, the Clippers are just 6-6 since and 3-9 ATS in NBA betting. L.A. blew a seven-point fourth-quarter lead against the Wizards. Griffin had 26 points through three quarters and none in the fourth. He did move past Elton Brand into third place on the Clippers all-time scoring list. Griffin has 9,352 points. Randy Smith ranks first with 12,735. Bob McAdoo is second with 9,434.
Griffin has averaged 21.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game this season. He is one of four in the NBA averaging 20+ points, 8.5+ rebounds & 4+ assists this season. Griffin is part of the second-most used five-man lineup in the NBA as the Clippers' starting five of Griffin, Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Luc Mbah a Moute and DeAndre Jordan are outscoring opponents by a whopping 16.2 points per 100 possessions when those five are on the court. The Clippers (5th/2nd) and Warriors (2nd/5th) are the only teams that rank in the top-five in both offensive rating and defensive rating this season.
Griffin missed a game on Dec. 10 because of soreness in that knee. The Clippers won it 133-105 over New Orleans. Griffin also sat out a game in Brooklyn simply for rest on Nov. 29 and the Clippers were upset by the sorry Nets.
Griffin had surgery on his right knee in his freshman season at Oklahoma in 2008 and had a procedure for a fractured left kneecap as a rookie with the Clippers in 2010. He didn't play at all that first season. But this surgery is minor, as it will remove loose bodies in the knee, which can be small fragments of cartilage or bone. Griffin also missed three months last season after breaking his right hand in a fight in January with the Clippers' former assistant equipment manager. Then he got hurt in the playoffs.
Griffin's injury will mean bigger roles for bench guys Marreese Speights, Wesley Johnson and Brandon Bass. This week the Clippers don't leave home, facing Denver on Tuesday, San Antonio on Thursday, Dallas on Friday and the Lakers on Christmas (Clips are technically road team in tha tone). L.A. is 13-15 ATS on NBA picks this season.