The NBA Playoffs are in full swing and one of the closest first-round match-ups is taking place between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers got a huge Game 3 win on Friday night, but did so without Blake Griffin who left the game in the second quarter.
Unfortunately for Griffin and the Clippers the news was not good on the injury front of Brad Turner of the LA Times reported that Griffin would miss the rest of the playoffs with a toe injury:
Clippers to announce that Blake Griffin out rest of playoffs with injury to plantar plate on his right big toe.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) April 22, 2017
This is a pretty sad occurrence for Griffin and the Clippers. Griffin has struggled with injuries throughout his career. This is now the second consecutive year in which Griffin was injured in the first round of the playoffs. Last season that was a major factor in the Clippers’ first-round loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Whether that same outcome happens this season remains to be seen. The Jazz have been without center and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert and it is unknown when he will be able to return so both squads are now short-handed.
The timing of this also makes things tougher for Griffin this summer. The five-time All-Star has an early termination option on his contract this offseason that would make him an unrestricted free agent. With the rise in the salary cap it has always been expected that Griffin would exercise that option and secure a massive long-term contract whether it is with the Clippers or elsewhere.
This latest injury, and Griffin’s injury history could potentially cause a little hesitation however so it will be interesting to see what Griffin ultimately decides to do.