Not much is capable of slowing down Blake Griffin.
Despite tearing his left quadricep muscle in the opening quarter during a 94-84 victory over the Lakers on Christmas Day, Griffin still managed to post 13 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block in 36 minutes of action.
The only problem for the Clippers is his effort will be the final one until at least 2016.
Following an MRI taken Saturday morning, the team discovered the severity of the injury and won’t reevaluate the five-time All-Star for at least two weeks.
Few players have been able to provide the nightly impact of Griffin this season. The 26-year-old is averaging 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.
LeBron James is the only other player in the league averaging at least 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game this year.
Griffin has developed a special connection with point guard Chris Paul, as 3.4 of his assists each night are made to the All-Star point guard.
When he isn’t setting up easy looks for Paul, Griffin has simply lobbed a pass at the rim for DeAndre Jordan.
The Clippers have the fourth best record in the Western Conference, but will have to find a way to win without Griffin. During the past five years, the team has posted a record of 247-158 with him in the lineup.
In his career, the 6-foot-10 forward has missed just 19 games since sitting out his entire rookie year with a broken kneecap.
The absence of Griffin has led Los Angeles to a record of 11-8.
The team is averaging an additional 16 points per 100 possessions with Griffin on the floor against the time he is on the bench, plus the team ranks last in the league in field goal, rebounding and 3-point shooting percentages without Griffin.
For the next two weeks, the Clippers will have to prove they can function without Griffin.
Biggest Surprise: Eric Gordon– New Orleans Pelicans
There was no stopping Gordon on Saturday night. The 27-year-old scored each of the first seven points on the night for New Orleans and closed out the first half with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Gordon connected on 10-of-12 shots on the night as part of a 26 point effort. Over his last four games, Gordon is averaging 18.2 points per game as he has connected on 56 percent of his attempts from 3-point range during that span.
Biggest Disappointment: Eric Bledsoe– Phoenix Suns
A sprained left knee limited Bledsoe to just eight minutes Saturday night and he is questionable for Monday’s game against the Cavaliers. Finding the bottom of the net has proven to be a challenge for Bledsoe over the past three games, as he is posting just 21 points on 24 percent shooting from the field. The Suns have dropped each of their last four games as Bledsoe has struggled to score the ball.
Pick ’em Up: J.J. Barea– Dallas Mavericks
Injuries in Dallas has made it a necessity for Barea to start each of the past two games and he has responded with impressive scoring numbers. In his past two games, the 6-foot guard is averaging 29 points per game on 64.7 percent shooting from the field. During a win over Brooklyn Wednesday, he even dished out a season-high 11 assists. The scoring barrage has been propped up by exceptional 3-point shooting, as he has knocked down 12-of-15 attempts from beyond the arc during the two game stretch.
Put ’em Down: Andre Iguodala– Golden State Warriors
The season stats of Iguodala indicate he is still playing a complete game, as he is averaging 7.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game, but he has been relatively quiet over the past month. Iguodala has scored over 10 points just once in his last 14 appearances and is averaging just 5.2 points per game over the last five games. The Warriors have kept Iguodala on the floor for over 800 minutes this season, one of just four players to reach the mark, but he doesn’t lead the team in a single major statistical category.
Injury Watch: Emmanuel Mudiay– Denver Nuggets
A sprained right ankle has kept Mudiay out for the past seven games and according to coach Mike Malone, the rookie won’t return to the court anytime soon. No timetable has been set for the seventh overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. Mudiay suffered a similar injury a year ago while playing professionally in China and missed two months. The severity of the injury hasn’t been revealed, but Jameer Nelson will be starting point guard in Denver for the foreseeable future.
Stat of the Week: John Wall– Washington Wizards
Wall carried Washington to its fourth straight victory Saturday night by dishing out 13 assists against Brooklyn. Since the turn of December, the 6-foot-4 has been able to climb into second place in assists this season, bumping up his season average to 9.7 per game as he has totaled 10 or more assists in each of his last five games. For the month, Wall has handed out at least 10 assists in 11 of 14 appearances while averaging 11.1 assists per game. The passing of Wall is largely responsible for Washington’s long range shooting, as he is generating 3.6 assists off 3-point shots each game.