Blake Griffin makes highlight reels because of his prodigious dunks, not his JaVale McGee-like moments. But Griffin made an embarrassing blunder in the first quarter of the Clippers-Timberwolves game on Thursday that he’d like to forget. Griffin got a touch pass on a fast break and literally bricked a wide open dunk late in the first quarter. This wasn’t the first missed dunk from Griffin we’ve highlighted this season, nor was it his most embarrassing play. But clanking a dunk is simply unacceptable, especially for someone whose place on the list of greatest dunkers is being questioned.
He didn’t bang home any ferocious dunks and had a meager night by his standards (14 points and 9 rebounds), but Griffin hit three straight jumpers in the closing moments to help the Clippers secure a 93-85 victory over the Kings on Thursday. He also managed to ruffle Cousins’ feathers in physical battle that Kings coach Keith Smart likened to a “football game.”
Cousins wasn’t able to do much on the offensive end, with foul trouble limiting him to only 18 minutes on the court. He was set off when he was whistled for his fifth foul after apparently making contact with the face of Griffin, a known flopper, on a reach-in. (Talk about a bad night of officiating for teams called the “Kings.”) Bottom line, it was a frustrating game for Cousins, who posted only eight points and three boards, and those frustrations boiled over after the game. It was classic DeMarcus:
Blake Griffin was at it again Wednesday doing what he does best: throwing down ridiculously fierce dunks. He scored the Clippers’ first points in their game against the Lakers by following a Randy Foye missed three with a dunk over Pau Gasol.
As if that dunk wasn’t enough, Griffin threw down on Gasol AGAIN. Here was his monster dunk from the third quarter:
The fourth quarter of the Clippers-Suns game Wednesday became a dunking clinic for Blake Griffin. The Clippers All-Star forward threw down a monstrous jam off a pick and roll pass from Chris Paul and just buried Channing Frye late in the game. It wasn’t as powerful as Blake’s dunk on Kendrick Perkins, but it was easily one of the better dunks in his career. Griffin finished with 27 and 14 in the 103-86 win.
Of all the owners in the NBA — and perhaps even professional sports in general — Donald Sterling has to be one of the dumbest. For the most part, he’s just a rich dude who owns a basketball team that he could care less about it. He does, however, insist he is going to make the right moves with his two biggest superstars. Now that the Clippers are relevant again, Sterling has to make sure Chris Paul and Blake Griffin stay with the team.
“Chris Paul will be with me for a lifetime,” Sterling said according to the L.A. Times. “And Blake will too. I’m not going to ever let these guys go. They are max players, and so you’re going to pay that and keep them.”
Griffin is a free agent after this year and Paul’s contract is scheduled to expire at the end of next season. Both will obviously require a max contract extension — which this year for Griffin would be a five-year, $95 million deal — but keeping two young superstars would give the Clippers the core they need for years to come.
As for whether or not it will actually happen, we all know it’s not that simple. When you have someone who has been known to do ridiculous things like this running the show, even the simplest matters can become complicated.
Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE
There are hard fouls, and then there’s what Hornets forward Jason Smith did to Blake Griffin on Thursday night. After Smith turned the ball over with a lousy pass, it ended up in the hands of Griffin. Sensing that Griffin was more than likely going to throw down a thunderous on the other end of the court, Smith got back to play defense in a hurry — if you want to call it that. As you can see from the video above that Eye on Basketball passed along, Smith straight up destroyed Griffin by laying a shoulder into him. There was absolutely no effort to go for the ball and the hit looked like one that belongs on the gridiron.
Smith was called for a Flagrant 2 foul which is an automatic ejection, and I’d be shocked if a suspension isn’t on its way. Despite the fact that he immediately threw his arms up as if the contact was unintentional when the play happened, Smith apologized after the game.
“I didn’t want to give him an easy layup (but) there are a ton better ways to go about it,” he said according to Hornets.com.
If I may play the role of mom for a second, sorry just isn’t going to cut it this time, mister.
For all the great things Blake Griffin can do, shooting free throws is his one glaring weakness. He’s making over 50% of his field goals, averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds per game, but he’s only 55% from the line this season. Still, nothing he’s done compared to what happened on Wednesday. Griffin airballed back-to-back free throws against the Hawks. He literally missed both by a foot — something most middle schoolers wouldn’t do. It was truly pathetic and definitely a source of embarrassment for Griffin. At least his team won.
Video via Eye on Basketball