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Blake Griffin misses game with sprained ankle… don’t go there. This is different.

Oct 18, 2010, 11:17 AM EDT

griffin_dunk

Blake Griffin sat out the Clippers preseason game Sunday night with a sprained ankle and…

Don’t go there. Just don’t.

This is a tweak of the ankle, not some major knee issue, Clippers coach Vinny del Negro told the LA Times.

“To be honest with you, I was kind of thinking about giving him the night off anyway,” said Del Negro before the Clippers’ 108-104 loss to the Nuggets (on Sunday). “It made my decision much easier. He kind of turned his ankle a little bit yesterday [against the Jazz] in the game. He’s fine.

“He did it at the beginning of the game and he played the whole game. He’s actually a lot better right now. If it was regular season, he’d play. Just want to be smart and use the time to fix it.”

We understand if Clippers fans are skittish, but you can relax. Nothing to see here, move along.

Griffin missed all of last season with a stress fracture on his kneecap that required a couple surgeries and a full season to get right. And he is right. He put up 17 and 14 on that bum ankle Saturday, and he is averaging 17 and 12 through six preseason games. This ankle tweak will not change that.

He is going to be right there with John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins in the rookie of the year voting. A lot of people forgot how good this guy is, but he will be reminding them — emphatically — this season.

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