Super Bowl aspirations in Pittsburgh a year after it lost the AFC title game in New England are warranted … even though the Patriots did more than the Steelers to improve during the offseason.
The offensive firepower, health permitting, remains intact, and Le’Veon Bell playing on the franchise tag apparently feels the need to produce even more. The key for the Steelers again will be the continued development of the relatively young defense that allowed 431 yards in that AFC championship loss.
It wasn’t his best performance. In his first game since Dec. 20, Griffin tallied 12 points on 3-for-11 shooting (6 for 10 from the free-throw line). He also added 11 rebounds, five assists and six turnovers.
Griffin coming back to the lineup is a sign of hope. He was able to play 30 minutes without any physical issues. During his recovery from surgery, the Clippers were 10-8. Having him back couldn’t come any sooner since the team is missing Chris Paul.
“It’s so good having him Blake back,” DeAndre Jordan told Sporting News. “It’s been so frustrating lately, we get off to a hot start then we have two of our big guys go down. At our best, we’re a championship contender. We just haven’t been at our best in awhile. But this is a good start to getting it right.”
Few teams have overcome as much adversity as the Clippers over the past few years. This team survived the ownership of Donald Sterling. Last season, the team lost its dynamic duo of Griffin and Paul within 36 hours. Thus killing the playoff hopes once again.