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Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick Injuries May Be Wild Cards in Blazers vs. Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers will trot out a diminished Blake Griffin and a recovering J.J. Redick for Game 1 of the Portland Trail Blazers vs. Clippers first round matchup tonight.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers understand injuries better than most teams, so don't look for much sympathy from Portland's bench when the Los Angeles Clippers' starting lineup is running around with a hitch in their giddyup.

Clippers starters Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick are both recovering from injury, and while both are expected to play for Game 1 of tonight's first round NBA Western Conference playoffs matchup, neither may be at full strength.

Griffin has played just 5 games since returning from a quadriceps injury that shelved him in December, and a hand injury from hitting the Clippers' team equipment manager in January. His hand his fine, but his quad is another story.

According to former Dallas Mavericks team doctor and former president of the NBA Physicians Association T.O. Souryal (who did NOT examine Griffin in person), the quad injury may have been a result of nagging tendinitis, and would therefore need rest to heal completely:

"The activity that caused it, is unfortunately the way he makes his living... what happens with these chronic tendinitis pictures is that they cross a threshold where they become symptomatic and develop a partial tear," Souryal said. "In many cases, this is something that has been brewing for a long time."

Both the eye test and the numbers agree: Griffin isn't 100%. In his 5 games back, he's averaged just 10 points and 7 boards on 40% shooting in just 25 minutes per game, and he looks slower and less explosive than when he was at his All-NBA peak.

JJ Redick is faring better, but he, too, may not be at full strength. After leaving just 13 minutes into the Clippers' game on Tuesday and sitting out their final game Wednesday, Redick was confined to a walking boot after bruising his left heel:

Redick, as much as anyone, was happy to see the first-round schedule when it was released. "Today’s better," Redick said Friday. "I’ve been in a walking boot the last 48 hours. Icing it, Ibuprofen, is about all you can do. But, it’s getting better."

A limited Redick would be a huge bummer for a Clippers team that relies on his outside shooting to open up the rest of their offense.

Both Redick and Griffin are expected to play today, but it may make the Blazers' path to victory a little easier if either Clippers starter is limited.