Week ahead for Clippers: Returning to L.A., working through loss of Griffin
The week ahead
The Grammy Trip is coming to a merciful end. The last stop is Monday in Dallas on the second night of a back-to-back. The Clippers enter Monday just 2-5 on the season long eight-game road trip. The unofficial first half of the season concludes Wednesday when the Rockets visit Staples Center starting at 7 p.m. on Prime Ticket. Both games will be played without Blake Griffin, who will have elbow surgery this week and be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.
The week behind
It's been tough sledding for the Clippers, who went 0-for the week. Doc Rivers' squad took defeats in Brooklyn, Cleveland, Toronto, and Oklahoma City. The current four-game losing streak is the longest in the Doc Rivers era in Los Angeles. The last three losses were by double digits with the closest margin being an 11-point deficit to LeBron James and the Cavs. That game, however, wasn't nearly that close. The Clippers last three losses were by an average of 16.7 points.
Record and standings
After picking up ground heading into last week, the Clippers have gone south. The club has fallen from third to sixth in the Western Conference Standings. The Clippers are 33-19 on the season, and despite dropping in the conference, are still second in the Pacific Division -- 8.5 games behind the first place Warriors.
Dahntay Jones will be around for the foreseeable future. Jones signed two 10-day contracts before the club decided to sign him for the remainder of the season. Jones's impact has not been huge. -- he's averaging just over five minutes per game this season. However, he's a veteran presence that Rivers is fond of on his team.
It wasn't the Clippers finest hour in an 11-point loss at Cleveland. The game featured a Matt Barnes ejection after picking up two technical fouls and five total technicals called on the Clippers. Entering Monday, the Clippers are tied for first in the NBA with 38 player technical fouls -- Barnes has a league high 11 of those. Los Angeles is also a four-way tie for first in the league in player ejections with three on the season.
Player to watch
While the Clippers are in Dallas wrapping up the Grammy Trip, Griffin will be in Los Angeles to undergo surgery for a staph infection in his right elbow. Griffin will be re-evaluated following the All-Star break, the team said on Sunday. Griffin, who was selected as an All-Star for the fifth time, will be replaced by Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard in Sunday's 2015 NBA All-Star Game.
Stat to watch
The Clippers aren't doing themselves any favors during this current four-game losing streak. In the last three losses, the team has allowed three of their four highest free-throw attempt totals this season, including a season-high 44 attempts to the Cavaliers last Thursday.