The 2015-16 season didn’t go as planned for the Los Angeles Clippers. It also certainly didn’t end ideally for them either. After enduring Blake Griffin missing 47 games due to a thigh tendon injury and breaking his hand punching the equipment manager, the Clippers still managed to make the playoffs as a 4-seed and face the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. Then in another cruel twist of fate, Chris Paul broke a bone in his hand and Griffin’s thigh injury happened again. The Blazers ended up eliminating the Clippers in six games and it was another weird, disappointing end to a season for them.
With so much time missed during the season and playoffs, Griffin decided he “didn’t deserve a summer break.” Overall, he took about two weeks off total and has been working hard going through his training throughout pretty much the entire summer. That’s what he told J.J. Redick on Redick’s Vertical podcast this past week. One week was after surgery and the other week was a mini-vacation. Via Clippers.com:
On getting back on the court: Griffin didn’t take much time off this summer, saying his biggest focus was on his health and making sure he felt strong and ready to go. “I took a week off after I had surgery and then started rehab a week after that, and I’ve been going all the way through,” Griffin said. “I actually just got back from vacation, so I took a week off there, so basically two weeks (off) this whole summer. I kind of had in my mind, I’m just going to go all the way through. In my mind, I didn’t deserve a summer break.”
The summer rarely serves as a big time off for NBA players. They have to train in order to come into the season in amazing shape, so that they can have a leg up on the competition and put their bodies in position to deal with the pounding of the regular season grind. Some guys will take three weeks to a month off, but then have to get right back into it. For Griffin to only take two sporadic weeks off is pretty rare, but it also makes sense for him to have the mentality that his time off came during the regular season.
The worry here is that Griffin not taking enough time off could burn him out at some point in the regular season. A player’s ability to properly rest during the season is key to helping avoid nagging injuries becoming worse and be fresh enough to maximize their production and play every single night. Considering Griffin’s health has hurt him a bit the past two seasons (he missed 15 games in 2014-15), it has to be a concern somewhere in the Clippers’ mind that he won’t make it through a full season.
However, with the way he’s improved his game, if he can get back to playing 80 or so games in the regular season, you have to feel pretty good about the impact he can have on that team.
Source: CBS Sports / After injury-plagued season, Blake Griffin not taking it easy this offseason