Blake Griffin returns to Clippers lineup, Jamal Crawford still not close

first_img“Hasn’t been much movement at all,” Rivers said when asked for an update on Crawford. “I don’t think he has improved at all, I can tell you that. So that’s obviously not good news.”Rivers was queried as to whether he believes Crawford will be back in time for the playoffs, which begin in about a month.“I really don’t know,” he said.Crawford missed 13 games in 2013-14 with an injury to his left calf. He was seen Sunday morning being driven to the Clippers’ locker room on a cart. He got off and was noticeably limping.Griffin went through pregame drills with his team, but Rivers said the decision for him to return had all but been made on Saturday. “The trainers, yesterday they called and said he can go, he’s been cleared,” Rivers said.What to expectSince the Clippers (42-25) probably did better than expected without Griffin, one inquiring reporter wanted to know how the team will be affected with the reintegration of Griffin.“Basketball-wise, I don’t think there will be any (difference),” Rivers said. “It will just be more of his play and his timing. Timing is timing. You lose it when you don’t play an NBA game. And sometimes you come back and you play great the first game and then you lose your timing. … As far as the way we play, that won’t be hard at all.”After Sunday’s game, the Clippers have just 15 regular-season games remaining.Quality victoriesOf the nine victories the Clippers had without Griffin, six of them came against teams that are either a virtual lock to make the post-season, or close. They beat Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Memphis, Chicago and Oklahoma City.“We did a good job,” Rivers said. “It was a difficult task for us because of the teams (the Clippers played). … I was really happy with our guys. They did a good job of individualizing each game.”Rivers said the team did have to run more without Griffin. That’s not all.“Not having Blake hurt us in a number of ways,” Rivers said. “Teams have been able to trap CP (Chris Paul) far more than they can when Blake’s on the floor because of his ability to pass.“I’m sure CP is the happiest of all of them to have him back.”UpcomingThe Clippers next play host to Charlotte on Tuesday, then hit the road Wednesday for a game at Sacramento. They come back Friday to host the Washington Wizards and the New Orleans Pelicans next Sunday afternoon. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img There was good news and bad news Sunday morning when Clippers coach Doc Rivers met with reporters ahead of his team’s 100-98 loss to the Houston Rockets at Staples Center.Rivers said power forward Blake Griffin would return to action after missing 15 games with a staph infection in his right elbow. Griffin started. The bad news was sixth-man Jamal Crawford appears nowhere near returning. Including Sunday, he has missed the past six games with a right calf strain.Griffin is the team’s leading scorer as he entered play, averaging 22.5 points per game. Crawford is the Clippers’ third-leading scorer with a 16.4 average. The team went 9-6 without Griffin, 2-3 without both Griffin and Crawford.Rivers was not enthusiastic about the return of Crawford.last_img read more