Blake Griffin is expected to be in the Clippers‘ starting lineup Sunday, even though he isn’t fully healed from a quad injury, according to Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. Griffin, who hasn’t played since Christmas Day, expected to be out just a few weeks after partially tearing a tendon in his lower quad muscle. “I don’t want to say ‘misdiagnosed’ but [it] wasn’t doing the right things, I guess,” he said. “We weren’t addressing the initial problem, the main problem. Everything I was doing was just putting more stress on my knee. The small tear became a three-month thing because I wasn’t doing the right things until we figured it out. … It just wasn’t being allowed to heal. The tear is still there. It’s just about managing the pain and getting through this. It’s not a new tear. I wasn’t re-tearing my knee in different places. I wasn’t allowing the initial injury to completely heal.” Griffin didn’t discuss the condition of his right hand, which was broken in a fight with assistant equipment manager Matias Testi. The Clippers posted a 30-15 record in the 45 games that Griffin missed.
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Kings point guard Seth Curry is still deciding whether to exercise his option for next season, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. A decision is due just a week after the end of the regular season. Curry added that he likes Sacramento and GM Vlade Divac‘s plans for the team. If Curry opts in, he will make $1,015,696.
- Sacramento placed coach George Karl in a no-win situation and would be making a mistake if it fires him, argues Andy Furillo of The Sacramento Bee. The front office failed to support Karl when it overturned his early-season suspension of DeMarcus Cousins, and Furillo claims that move deteriorated their already-strained relationship. Even with a rebuilt roster that was weakened by injuries, Karl has led the Kings to their highest win total since 2007/08.
- Earl Watson has managed to get some defensive improvement out of the Suns since taking over as interim coach, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Under Watson, who has posted a 6-7 record after losing his first nine games, Phoenix has a defensive rating that is 12th best in the league over its past 10 contests. Before Watson arrived, the Suns were 29th in that category. “We have a lot we haven’t even touched,” he said.