Doc Rivers: Blake Griffin, Chris Paul 'good' after playoff-ending injuries

ByAndrew Han ESPN logo
Friday, June 24, 2016

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Injured Los Angeles Clippers stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are recovering without incident, coach Doc Rivers said Thursday before the NBA draft.

"They're good," Rivers said. "Blake was in here today. Feeling good. Wants to get to working out soon, he told me. Chris has been healthy with the hand for a while."

Paul fractured the third metacarpal of his right hand in the third quarter of Game 4 of the Clippers' first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers. His hand got caught in Gerald Henderson's jersey while defending the Trail Blazer on a fast break, forcing the nine-time All-Star to miss the remainder of the series, an eventual 4-1 Clippers loss.

Griffin was sidelined just minutes later in the same game after aggravating a left quadriceps tendon tear he had suffered Dec. 25 against the Los Angeles Lakers. He missed 47 games in the 2015-16 season because of the quad injury and a broken hand suffered in an altercation with a Clippers assistant equipment manager.

Griffin underwent a bone marrow procedure similar to platelet-rich plasma therapy shortly after aggravating the tear, but the injury will keep him from participating in the Olympics in August.

Rivers did indicate that although Griffin isn't doing drills, he is putting in work.

"No, I think he's shooting free throws," Rivers said. "I don't know if you count that as basketball stuff. But I don't think he would at this point in the summer anyway. At least I wouldn't be. Maybe that's why I turned out the way I did."

Rivers also said the Clippers didn't receive any calls inquiring about Griffin's availability in the lead-up to the draft. Trade buzz around Griffin surfaced after the fight in which he broke his hand, but Rivers said then that Griffin was not on the table. He reiterated that point after the season, including Paul and DeAndre Jordan as other untouchable players.

The Clippers did make moves to select three players in the draft -- first-team All-American Brice Johnson from UNC, French point guard David Michineau and Maryland center Diamond Stone -- but Rivers rejected the premise that the Clippers needed to mix up their roster to compete for a title.

"I've been in this game a long time. I get how hard it is," Rivers said after the draft. "But for me, I look at our record, and I look at how good we've been and I know we are right there. And I've been around this game long enough to understand that. I'm not going to buy in to the impatience of anyone else. We're really good. And we're really close. And whether we need to tweak or not, we're going to do whatever we can with what we can. But I like who we are."