Clippers forward Blake Griffin is showing signs that he is getting closer to a return, tweets Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. Griffin went through a “pretty extensive” pregame workout today without a brace or sleeve on his injured right knee. Griffin had minor surgery on the knee in December, and a report on Friday said he could be back in action by the end of the month.
There’s more news from the Pacific Division:
- The Clippers may soon have rookie power forward Brice Johnson back on the court as well, according to Woike (Twitter link). The 25th pick in the 2016 draft has been playing one-on-one games and is close to being ready for “true on-court activity,” says coach Doc Rivers. Johnson suffered a herniated disc in his lower back in October and hasn’t played yet this season.
- One positive in the Lakers‘ blowout loss to the Spurs on Thursday was the performance of rookie center Ivica Zubac, writes Mark Medina of The Orange County Register. Zubac, who was taken with the second pick of the second round in 2016, had a season-high eight points to go with four rebounds in nearly 15 minutes. Zubac has seen most of his action in the D-League this year, and the Lakers want him to drop weight to become more mobile. “When you can run more, you can do everything better on the court,” Zubac said. “It definitely helps to stay in shape. I’m not playing a lot with the Lakers. It’s easy to get out of shape. Playing in the D-League really helps.”
- Andy Furillo of the Sacramento Bee looks at the downside of possibly investing more than $209MM to keep DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento. In addition to being the top player on a losing team for 6 1/2 seasons, Cousins checks in as the slowest player in the league, has had his shot blocked more times than anyone, is tied for first in technical fouls and is second in personal fouls, ranks sixth in turnovers and is only tied for 33rd in offensive rebounds.