Tonight could be Blake Griffin's final game at Staples with the Clippers - here's why

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers - Game One

Talk about ramifications.

Something to definitely watch out for as the Los Angeles Clippers host the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night is how hard Blake Griffin comes out.

It also might be constructive to see how Griffin is treated down the stretch by fans if it looks like the Clippers are going to find themselves in an 0-2 series hole.

Because, believe it or not, we could be witnessing Blake's final game at Staples Center as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Griffin and the Clippers had a disappointing result on Saturday as Joe Johnson's buzzer-beater gave the Jazz a 97-95 victory on the road, giving Utah its first playoff win in seven years.

With Jazz center Rudy Gobert out for Game 2 tonight, conventional wisdom says the Clippers will bounce back to earn a split in the series. They will definitely be the desperate team in the matchup.

But conventional wisdom has been proven time and time again to mean nothing when it comes to the Clippers and playoff time.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Clippers

The core trio of Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan is one of the most confounding and underachieving groups in the league.

Throughout their "run," the team has had a series of spectacular failures, in addition to a handful of shocking turns in the right direction.

Griffin was drafted out of Oklahoma with the first pick of the 2009 NBA Draft but missed his entire first season with a knee injury. Despite winning Rookie of the Year in his first season of actually playing, the sad sack franchise did not make the playoffs. 

CP3 came along in 2011-12, and the team improved and made the playoffs in Griffin's second year, right as Jordan was starting to emerge as a force inside for the team. After a first-round series win in seven games against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Clippers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in round two, but the future was looking bright.

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Game One

Things got weird in 2012-13, as Lamar Odom returned, Grant Hill played his final season in the league and Chauncey Billups was still around. The Clippers lost in the first round to Memphis in six games, and coach Vinny Del Negro was fired after the season.

In 2013-14, Doc Rivers was brought in as coach and also led the front office. That year also brought the Donald Sterling racial comments firestorm, though, and the Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors in seven games, but lost in the second round to the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games.

The team was lightly regarded in 2014-15 and were underdogs to the Spurs in round one, but won the series and topped the defending champions in seven games in a surprise result. A seven-game collapse in the second round against the Houston Rockets was equally as surprising for different reasons.

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Seven

The 2015-16 run was short, losing to the Portland Trail Blazers in six games.

Which brings us to tonight.

Griffin has a player option and will likely be a free agent after this season, and you have to believe it's now or never for this core. Paul is in the same contract situation, so he ultimately could be the one to go. Other candidates for a shake-up could include Jordan in a trade or Rivers in a firing.

Really, it's anyone's guess.

It's such an emotional group, too, that one wouldn't be surprised if a tailspin happens sooner rather than later, despite being 9-point favorites in tonight's game. A loss tonight could mean the Jazz go home up 2-0 with fans fired up for a sweep against a fragile team.

Don't count out anything when it comes to the Clippers.

Hell, maybe they'll raise a banner somehow out of all this mess.

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