Everyone expected Blake Griffin to win the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, so it came as no surprise when he was given the crown. When you can do things like this, this, this, and this, it kind of makes you an easy favorite. Earlier, we showed you a compilation of all the dunks from Saturday night. Griffin may have had the better dunk when it mattered in the final round, but there are a lot of people — myself included — who thought JaVale McGee had the dunk of the night. Maybe he should have saved it for the last round rather than using it in the first. In any event, let’s look at the two slams to determine which was better.
John Wall broke Chris Paul’s Rookie Challenge record with 22 assists on Friday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The stats really are meaningless given that there was worse defense played than the French protecting the Bastille, but at least it provided plenty of highlights. The best one had to be John Wall’s bounce pass alley-oop to Blake Griffin. I’ve never seen anything like it. Here’s the John Wall alley-oop to Blake Griffin video:
If there’s even a slight amount of that sort of creativity in the dunk contest, we’ll be in for quite the show. Not bad for a live game, huh?
The streak is over. The Cleveland Cavaliers either caught a team on an off night or finally grew some balls. I’m sure they don’t care how it happened, but the Cavs beat Blake Griffin and the Clippers on Friday night. I wonder if LeBron still thinks Sunday’s Cavs-Wizards game should be nationally televised?
The real question is whether or not Griffin was able to get any sleep last night. Has the current king of the NBA dunking world ever had a dunk rejected, let alone at a crucial point in the game? He has now. Check out the video of J.J. Hickson stuffing a Blake Griffin dunk:
Hickson had another huge block with the game tied 110-110 to force overtime, where the Cavs were finally able to get it done. As sad as it sounds, this can probably go down as the most important win of his young career.
Clippers forward Blake Griffin has developed a reputation around the league as a guy who plays all-out, all the time. In most environments, especially sports, people are commended for giving 100%, but this is the NBA, where Chris Bosh can talking about wanting to chill with little reaction from his peers. Most of the criticism of Griffin is the result of the barrage of incredible, and often embarrassing, dunks he’s thrown down this year. Veteran guys apparently don’t appreciate the rookie’s swagger. At the end of Friday night’s game against the Hawks, Griffin may have added more fuel to that fire when he was called for a flagrant foul on Hawks forward Al Horford:
It was obviously a foul, and obviously hard, but I think the refs reacted more to Horford hitting the floor than the contact itself. Griffin appears to be going for the ball and it’s nothing like the obvious flagrant Devin Harris committed on Griffin earlier this season. Luckily for Griffin, Horford was able to get up and it didn’t appear the injury was too serious or Griffin would have taken even more flak. Unfortunately for the Clippers, Horford knocked down both free throws to give the Hawks the 101-100 win.
Thanks to outsidethenba for the video.
Another day, another Blake Griffin highlight. What else is new? America’s favorite rookie has alley-ooped on the Timberwolves like an acrobat, completed a reverse alley-oop, and then of course there was this, my personal favorite. His latest feat was up there with all of them, an alley-oop on Kyle Korver of the Chicago Bulls. Check it out:
The dunk itself wasn’t the only thing that had the internet buzzing on Wednesday night. J.E. Skeets of The Basketball Jones correctly identified ESPN’s The Sports Guy Bill Simmons as a man in the crowd cheering on the dunk! Here’s the pic:
Nothing surprises us at this point when it comes to Blake Griffin and freak athleticism. His dunking abilities are going to make for a long career of sports blogs being filled with videos that worship his talent. I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here, but do people actually appreciate how easy he makes it look? How many times have you seen a reverse alley-oop dunk during a game? Personally, I can’t think of one. Griffin has already mastered the traditional alley-oop, so he decided to create a bit of a challenge for himself on Saturday night — if you even want to call it that.
If this kid doesn’t win the Slam Dunk Contest I’ll be stunned. He comes up with new dunks on a regular basis and busts them out during actual games. For Blake Griffin, the regular season is one long dunk competition. Thanks to The Big Lead for the video.
Once again, Blake Griffin shows why he was the No. 1 pick a year ago and the front-runner for the NBA Rookie of the Year. In last night’s Clippers victory over the Timberwolves, Griffin scored 22 points — none more impressive than these two:
Griffin added 10 rebounds to record his sixth-straight double-double. This dunk was one of three high-flying slams on the night by Griffin — bringing his season total to somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 highlight reel plays. A guy Griffin’s size — 6 feet 10 inches, 250 pounds — shouldn’t be able to do what he’s able to do, but he does it. Let’s keep our finger crossed in hopes that he does in fact participate in the dunk contest.
Thanks to youtube user RedBullgakov for the video.