GRIFFIN: 'I HATE MISSING TIME'

Blake Griffin photo from shootaround in Utah
Blake Griffin talking with Associate Head Coach Alvin Gentry at shoot-around Saturday.

SALT LAKE CITY – As Blake Griffin laced up his sneakers prior to Saturday morning’s shoot-around he provided insight into why he wants to play through a bone bruise in his left knee even in a preseason setting.

“It’s just one of those things where I hate missing time, whether it’s preseason or during the season or even the offseason,” Griffin said. “If I feel like I can go I don’t want to impede any progress I’ve made as far as conditioning, learning sets and all that.”

Griffin missed practice Thursday after sustaining the injury the night before at the Clippers open scrimmage. He was back on the court Friday for a majority of the team’s practice in L.A. before they traveled to Utah to take on the Jazz in their second game of the preseason.

Before Friday’s practice Griffin revealed the injury was initially “scary” but an MRI showed a bone bruise and no structural damage. He said his knee “felt pretty good, especially once I got going [Friday].

“I’m really just trying to keep it like that. As long as I don’t step back I think I’m good.”

One of the primary reasons Griffin wants to stay on the court is to continue making progress in new Head Coach Doc Rivers’ system. For reserve center Ryan Hollins, that is a goal for the team in general on their three-game road swing over the next four days.

“We’ve got so much to pick up on from defensive concepts to really learning offensive plays, timing, guys still getting in shape and just getting used to Doc,” said Hollins, who played for Rivers in the final three months of the 2011-12 regular season in Boston as well. “He had such a system that those guys [in Boston] knew, they didn’t even have to practice to be able to execute. So, us picking up all those little things and taking it one set, one play at a time, because he’s got a million sets, that’s going to be huge on this trip.”

Griffin agreed.

“Missing time for me is like missing class on a day that you could be learning something important,” he said. “You can still catch up, but you feel like you’re a step behind. I never want to feel like that, especially if I can go.”

The Clippers tipoff against the Jazz at 6 p.m. PT.