SAN ANTONIO – Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Blake Griffin’s sprained left knee will make him a “game-time” decision before Tuesday night’s series opener against the Spurs.
But Griffin says that decision has already been made in his own mind.
“Yeah, no doubt. I’ll be playing tomorrow,” Griffin said following the Clippers’ practice on Monday afternoon.
“I’m not 100 (percent). It’s tough to say. Hopefully by tomorrow night, 75 to 80. Hopefully, more than that. But realistically, probably not much more than that.
“Playing Friday night and then Sunday at noon was less rest than I normally get and that might have made it a little worse. But my knee (structurally) hasn’t gotten worse. That’s the encouraging thing. It’s one of those things where it needs time and we don’t have much of that.”
Griffin played limited minutes in the Game 7 clincher at Memphis on Sunday and was on the bench for almost the entire fourth quarter when L.A. wrapped up the win.
“You need your star players, but you need to deal with it,” Del Negro said. “It is what it is. Blake’s gonna give us everything he has. He feels a little better today and hopefully he’ll feel a little better tomorrow. If it was the regular season, he’d probably have a week or two off. But it’s not and he’ll fight through it as best he can and if there’s any type of setbacks, then we’ll make those decisions.”
When Del Negro’s cautious words were relayed to him, Griffin just smiled.
“That’s what doctors and trainers said,” he grinned. “But I don’t know if I believe them.”