The Detroit Pistons, who are in a win-and-in scenario for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, could be without Blake Griffin for their regular-season finale against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
Griffin, who continues to struggle with a sore left knee, is considered doubtful for the game. He played just 18 minutes in the Pistons’ 100-93 victory against Memphis on Tuesday night, scoring five points as he struggled with moving around the court before being sent to the bench for the entire fourth quarter.
The Pistons will make the playoffs with either a win or a loss by the Charlotte Hornets against the Orlando Magic. If the Pistons lose and the Hornets win, Detroit will miss the postseason for the third consecutive year.
Griffin has been the focal point of the Detroit offense, averaging 24.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game this season.
Magic coach Steve Clifford on Wednesday said his team won’t let up against the Hornets even though they’ve already clinched a playoff spot.
“The mental part is a big part of playing,” Clifford said. “And I just think that when you clinch a spot in Game 81, I don’t think [Game 82] is the time [to let up]. … We’re either going to be playing [a postseason game] in either three days or four days, and this isn’t the time to relax.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.