The Detroit Pistons are technically not eliminated from playoff contention, but the path to the postseason just got a little tougher as the team will be without Blake Griffin for at least a week.
Griffin sat out Detroit’s 103-92 win over the John Wall-less Washington Wizards on Thursday. Via a team release, the Pistons said:
An MRI conducted Thursday evening on Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin’s right ankle revealed a bone bruise. He will be re-evaluated in one week and a timetable for return to action will be provided as appropriate.
The Pistons have won 5 of 6 games since Reggie Jackson has returned to the lineup with the only loss being in overtime against the NBA-best Houston Rockets.
Detroit has to essentially go undefeated the rest of the way to have even a glimmer of a hope to reach the postseason. They are five games back of the Bucks, 5.5 behind the Heat and 6 games back from the Wizards.
In Griffin’s absence, Andre Drummond stepped up in a big way against the Wizards. He was a +19 and scored 24 points and 23 rebounds to go with four assists.
Detroit has one difficult match-up in its next five — a home game against the Philadelphia 76ers, but they just lost Joel Embiid for an extended period to an orbital fracture.
Detorit has a game Saturday at the New York Knicks, Sunday at the Brooklyn Nets, the Wednesday game against the Sixers, then a Friday game against the Dallas Mavericks and a Sunday contest against the Memphis Grizzlies. The season concludes with a game against the (maybe resting) Raptors and the Bulls.
All winnable but the Sixers game and the Nets game on the second end of a back-to-back pose the most danger.