LA Clippers' Blake Griffin to have elbow surgery, Lillard to replace him at All-Star Game

February 8, 2015

Looks like point guard Damian Lillard will be an All-Star this year after all.

In a setback that could affect playoff seeding in the competitive Western Conference, the Los Angeles Clippers announced today that All-Star forward Blake Griffin will undergo surgery in Los Angeles on Monday, February 9, to remove a staph infection in his right elbow. Griffin will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.

The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and assisted by Clippers team physician Dr. Steven Shimoyama.

Griffin, 25, has been a force for the Clippers this season, averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists, while shooting 50.1 percent from the field in 35.3 minutes this season.  He was recently selected to his fifth NBA All-Star game.

With Griffin out of the lineup for several games, the Clippers (33-18) will need guards Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford to step up significantly during his absence in order for the team to keep pace with the San Antonio Spurs (32-18) and Dallas Mavericks (35-18).

The Mavericks, Clippers, and Spurs currently are the fifth, sixth, and seventh seeds, respectively.

Another collateral effect of Griffin's injury is that Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard -- previously passed over once before as an All-Star Game replacement for the injured Kobe Bryant -- has now been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace Griffin in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 15.

Lillard, who will appear in his second All-Star Game, ranks 13th in the NBA in scoring (21.6 ppg) and 15th in assists (6.3 apg). He also leads the league in fourth-quarter scoring (311 points) and is sixth in three-pointers made (129), helping Portland to a Northwest Division-best 34-17 record.

Lillard is joined on the West team by Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge, an All-Star for the fourth consecutive season, giving Portland the same two players selected to back-to-back All-Star Games for the first time since Maurice Lucas and Bill Walton in 1977 and 1978.

Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, who earned the right to coach the West team because the Warriors had the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 1, will determine Griffin’s replacement in the starting lineup.

By Staff of and news services

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