Griffin’s, Clips’ Rise (Sans Paul) Impresses




VIDEO: Join in on the high-flying fun that is Blake Griffin’s ridiculous highlights

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – In just about any other field, a month like the one Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin has put together would result in one of those employee of the month plaques that hang on an office wall.

Griffin will have to settle for knowing that whatever corner that needed to be turned without Chris Paul in the lineup has been turned, because an insane month from Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, not to mention a monster first month of 2014 from Portland Trail Blazers All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, has cast a huge shadow over the work of all others.

Still, it’s hard to be anything but extremely impressed with what Griffin has done since Paul went down with a shoulder injury Jan. 3. His January numbers alone, heading into tonight’s showdown against the Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT), should force his critics to take another look at the master of highlights and recognize the evolution of his game.

Griffin is playing as well as anyone in a crowded field of quality power forwards, a group headlined by Aldridge, Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Golden State’s David Lee and Miami’s Chris Bosh (who is often left off the short list due to the diminished statistical impact he has on a team with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as the first two options).

And tonight’s matchup against the Warriors gives him a chance to take another shot at a team that has worked overtime to get under his skin and test the Clippers’ mental and intestinal fortitude every chance they get. Griffin and Warriors forward Draymond Green were both ejected from the Warriors’ 105-103 win in Oakland on Christmas.

Griffin has been on an absolute tear since then. He scored 75 points in the two games immediately after that Christmas Day debacle and has destroyed the competition the past month, averaging 25.6 points on 56 percent shooting to go along with 8.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 74 percent from the free throw line.

Perhaps even more startling (and impressive) is that the Clippers lead the league in offensive efficiency since Paul, widely regarded as the league’s most complete floor general, went down. And that was earned against a stiff level of competition that included more top 10 defensive teams (6) than bottom 10 defensive teams (5) during their current run.

All of that is a credit to Griffin as well, now that the offense runs through him more than any other player on the roster. There is no doubt Darren Collison, Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick have all stepped up in Paul’s absence. Clippers coach Doc Rivers is touting DeAndre Jordan as an All-Star, and it’s not just hyperbole. Jordan has been spectacular and leads the league in both field goal shooting and rebounding as of today.

“We have a lot of really good players and sometimes guys like Jamal, J.J., DJ some of these guys don’t get the credit they deserve,” Griffin said after Wednesday night’s win over the Washington Wizards. “They are more than capable. I think that’s what we’ve learned about our team, guys will step up and accept challenges and rise to the occasion.”

There is no denying that Griffin’s rise has been the ultimate difference maker for this team, particularly with Paul out of the mix for as long as he has been missing from the lineup.


VIDEO: Blake Griffin talks CP3 and the Clippers after a win ove the Wizards

16 Comments

  1. Brandon says:

    It’s obvious the guys saying Blake and Love will dominate the 4 position for years to come have never seen Anthony Davis play.

  2. Eaham says:

    I always said blake griffin has a bigger ceiling than dwight and he is improving every year so far so I am hoping to see this guy become more than just another dunker. Barkley did insult him a alot before but in all his insults he did say the potential BG has if he learns the post game. It was not a bad knock on BG because that was all true. So I am happy BG is learning. Atleast he isnt a Dwight howard who is apprently the best center in the league with no post moves lol

  3. Bermir says:

    What is it with some NBA writers and the use of ´sans´. What´s wrong with without?

  4. rioken says:

    he’s not that electrifying, cos he cheats on the people who he dunks. he takes off on his both hands up, the other catching the ball and the other lowers down to the opponents body/hands/like a shoving safeguarding hand. its not like the 90′s and Jordan’s dunk, taking off on one hand with the ball and just challenging the opponent without any shoving. take that

  5. ivica says:

    CP3 is a hell of a player, but I never liked the fact that he always had so much ball in his hands…out of 24seconds on the clock it’s like he had it around 10-15seconds on each possession …
    yes, he is productive. 20pts/10asts per game, but it’s now obvious that he should let other people create their own baskets a lot more when he returns to the line-up..

    • allaroundballer says:

      Cp3 is always my 1st opt, but I hv to agree on this. He should let BG works his own shoot and trust him more to lead. That way will keep healthy for playoff. We know CP3 got injury pretty often because he seems try to carry all

  6. dustydreamnz says:

    He’s not as good as Aldridge or Love yet but he is getting better.

  7. No Joke says:

    I hope guys like Charles Barkley will stop taking shots at him now! Give credit where credit is due.

  8. blakskorpion says:

    if this isn’t making the case for mvp for BG32, I don’t know what is. been watching him since he came into the league, and the way his game has evolved is nothing short of extraordinary. period. it will be interesting (and maybe even scary) to see how much better the clips get when cp3 gets back.

  9. Joe says:

    He plays aggressive. Love that. Offensive may be putting up better numbers since CP3 been out but it’s not running as smooth. Blake has been coming through for the last month and he is awesome to watch. Without the finesse of CP3, Blake has created scores. Blake is helping the Clips control the Game at an MVP caliber.

  10. sirsparhawk says:

    Blake is becoming better and better, I look forward to when he and love hit their prime. They will dominate the leagues 4 position.

  11. George Turner says:

    He’s the best big man in the game

  12. Bud Walker says:

    Absolutely true regarding the evolution of Blake’s game. He is legitimately earning the hype.