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Griffin injury drops Clippers in West

The Los Angeles Clippers revealed bad news Sunday, when they announced that forward Blake Griffin will undergo surgery on his right elbow to treat a staph infection that developed after the elbow was drained.

Griffin will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break, but it's possible the infection could cause him to miss the next four to six weeks.

What does that mean for the Clippers? Let's take a look.

Replacing Griffin

While this isn't the exact scenario the Clippers had in mind when they used their full midlevel exception to sign Spencer Hawes as a free agent -- triggering a series of cap machinations that led to them giving up a first-round pick to shed the salary of Jared Dudley, who's been productive with the Milwaukee Bucks this season -- injury insurance was part of Hawes' value to the Clippers, who were dreadfully thin in the frontcourt behind Griffin and DeAndre Jordan a year ago.

Alas, despite Hawes' stellar performance against Oklahoma City on Sunday, he has been a major disappointment in L.A., making just 33.7 percent of his 3-point attempts while hoisting nearly as many long-range shots as 2-pointers. Hawes' .517 true shooting percentage is similar to what it was before last season, when he added the 3-pointer as a regular threat and posted a .554 TS%. Moving into a starting role may help Hawes, who is used to more extended minutes than he has played with the Clippers.