Doc Rivers: Investigation into Blake Griffin incident is ongoing

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

L.A. Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Friday night said the investigation of the fight this past Saturday in Toronto between forward Blake Griffin and Matias Testi – the team’s assistant equipment manager – is continuing.

Rivers said he believes that any punishment to be doled out to Griffin, who broke his right hand during the row, will likely be a collaboration of the team and the NBA.

“I think it will be dual, both parties will get together,” Rivers said before the Clippers took on the Lakers at Staples Center. “But usually the league leads in any of that stuff. As far as the investigation, I think it’s over or close to being over, so that’s good.”

Rivers touched on many issues during his pre-game news conference. He had already said he didn’t think alcohol was involved in the beef. But he was pressed more on that.

“Well, it depends on what you call alcohol,” he said. “I feel like Bill Clinton right now. It really does.”

There were laughs.

“Did guys have a drink?” he said. “I’m sure they did. But other than that, I’m going to say, no, alcohol wasn’t involved as far as the other stuff.”

The fight apparently started when Griffin and Testi exchanged insults at a restaurant. It continued outside. However, though Rivers said he has been given a full explanation of everything that happened, he would not provide further information.

“I don’t need to share anything with you guys,” he said. “It’s still in investigation, so I’m not going to go into detail about this thing. The way we look at it, though, is we are very satisfied with all the information we have.”

Griffin and Testi were not at the game Friday. Rivers was asked why Griffin wasn’t on hand.

“Because you guys are here,” he said.

Was this Griffin’s decision or the team’s?

“I think all of the above,” Rivers said. “I think he would have come, obviously. We have a game tonight, a game of basketball. That’s what we are actually getting paid for, to play the Lakers.

“And so we just feel like let’s wait until the investigation is over, then it’ll be out and we can talk about it. But until then, I have to try and play the Lakers. I know you guys want to do your jobs, but your job doesn’t affect my job.”

 

Chris Paul selected as reserve for Western Conference All-Star team

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Clippers point guard Chris Paul on Thursday was selected as one of seven reserves for the Western Conference All-Star team. It is Paul’s ninth consecutive selection either as a starter or reserve. He is averaging 18.6 points, 9.6 assists and 3.9 assists.

The All-Star game will be played Feb. 14 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Power forward Blake Griffin did not get the nod, neither did center DeAndre Jordan. Griffin’s exclusion was very understandable considering he wouldn’t be able to play anyway as he is expected to be out at least four weeks and as many as six or more with a fractured right hand. TNT analyst Charles Barkley said he would have chosen Jordan over forward LaMarcus Aldridge of San Antonio.

The rest of the West reserves – including Aldridge – are guards James Harden of Houston and Klay Thompson of Golden State, forward Draymond Green of Golden State, forward-center Anthony Davis of New Orleans and center DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento.

The Eastern Conference reserves are point guards Isaiah Thomas of Boston and John Wall of Washington, shooting guard DeMar DeRozan of Toronto, guard-forward Jimmy Butler of Chicago, center Andre Drummond of Detroit and forward-center Chris Bosh of Miami.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 85-83 victory at Atlanta

Jeff Teague, left, of Atlanta and Wesley Johnson of the Clippers battle for a loose ball during the Clippers’ 85-83 victory Wednesday at Atlanta/AP photo by John Bazemore

 

– Under the circumstances, this was one of the best victories of the season for the Clippers. Not only were they still reeling from the Blake Griffin incident, they somehow won this game even though they shot just 38.8 percent from the field, 18.5 percent (5 of 27) from 3-point range. The Clippers (30-16) are now 13-3 sans Griffin, who likely won’t be back until the beginning of March because of his fractured hand.

– Like Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson has been up and down with his shot this season. He shot 3 of 12 in this one, just 1 of 8 from 3-point range. Then again, even though coach Doc Rivers has at times referred to Johnson as “a great shooter,” he has never been that. Johnson is shooting just 41.1 percent overall for his 5-plus years career, a more respectable 34.7 from beyond the arc. Those numbers this season are 42.6 and 34.5, respectively.

– Speaking of Crawford, he was hot in this one, scoring a team-high 21 points on 9 of 16 shooting. Crawford attempted just two 3-point field goals and made one.

– The Clippers did play solid defense. The Hawks shot 43.5 percent (10 of 23) from 3-point range, but just 41.8 overall. Also, the Clippers had a hand in Atlanta committing a whopping 22 turnovers. The Clippers had 11 turnovers.

– Speaking of defense, the Clippers came through with 16 steals, a rather massive amount for one game. Johnson had six of them, Chris Paul had three and Luc Mbah a Moute and Austin Rivers each had two. The Clippers average 7.9 steals per game.

BONUS TAKE: DeAndre Jordan grabbed 19 rebounds for the second consecutive game.

L.A. Sports Council pondering whether to revoke Blake Griffin’s Sportsman of the Year award

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Blake Griffin is slated to be honored as Sportsman of the Year by the Los Angeles Sports Council on Feb. 25 in Beverly Hills.

That may, or may not, still happen.

Griffin on Saturday allegedly punched out Clippers assistant equipment manager Matias Testi at a restaurant in Toronto.

Mark Meyers, a spokesman for the L.A. Sports Council, told this newspaper Thursday that council president David Simon has been speaking to the board about whether to revoke the award.

“There really is no decision at this moment, but we should know more in the next few days,” Meyers said.

Jamal Crawford: ‘Adversity not only builds character, it reveals it’

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers had a really lousy night shooting the ball Wednesday at Atlanta. They made only 38.8 percent of their shots overall, just 18.5 percent (5 of 27) from 3-point range. Yet they found a win to beat the Hawks 85-83.

The victory sealed a 3-2 record on the East Coast swing. The victory Tuesday at Indiana and Wednesday’s were played with the Clippers (30-16) knowing the world had found out about Blake Griffin punching out assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Saturday in Toronto, the day before the Clippers were beaten by the Raptors there.

A victory like Wednesday’s told a lot about the team, Jamal Crawford said.

“I think adversity not only builds character, it reveals it,” said Crawford, who rebounded from two very poor shooting games by making 9 of 16 from the field to lead the team with 21 points. “For us, we’ll not only continue to grow and have each other’s back, we’ll continue to move forward.”

 

J.J. Redick believes adversity can have galvanizing effect on Clippers

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy). Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) shoots against the Indiana Pacers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. The Clippers defeated the Pacers 91-89.

Chris Paul goes up for two of his 26 points in Tuesday’s 91-89 victory at Indiana/AP photo by Michael Conroy

 

Yes, Indiana is now just 23-22 and has lost six of its past seven games. But to Clippers guard J.J. Redick, the Clippers’ 91-89 victory Tuesday at Indiana was a good one, considering the circumstances of the day. It was Tuesday morning when the world found out that Blake Griffin would miss several more weeks because he fractured his right hand punching out team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Saturday in Toronto.

“Any time you face adversity, whether it’s wins and losses or guys getting hurt, it can galvanize you, it can bring you together,” said Redick, whose team will complete its five-game East Coast swing Wednesday evening at Atlanta. “(It) was a good feeling to walk off the court and gut that one out.”

Griffin has missed the past 15 games with a partially torn left quad tendon, though he may have been back for the Indiana game had Saturday’s incident not occurred. He is expected to miss four to six more weeks with the hand injury, giving him a possible return of no sooner than the beginning of March.