Morning Shootaround — Oct. 18


VIDEO: Daily Zap for games played Oct. 17

Griffin reaching breaking point | No longball for Lakers | Dwight for MVP? | Pistons and Celtics make deal

No. 1: Griffin reaching breaking point — Clippers forward Blake Griffin is one of the most athletic and high-flying players in the NBA. And as frequently as he drives hard to the rim, he just as often finds himself at the end of a lot of hard fouls. Thus far, Griffin has managed to take the physicality in stride, keeping a cool head time after time. But after another incident last night in a preseason game against the Utah Jazz, Griffin noted that his patience is reaching its breaking point. Dan Woike of the Orange County-Register has more

After the game, Griffin was asked if it was difficult to keep things from escalating.

“I was going to (take things further), and I thought, ‘It’s preseason. It’s not worth it. That’s not the person I’m going to waste it on,’” Griffin calmly said.

[Trevor] Booker was called for a flagrant 1 foul, and Griffin, Booker and Chris Paul were all called for technical fouls for their roles in the incident.

After the game, Paul didn’t hide his amazement at picking up a technical, as he said he was trying to play peacemaker.

“That was ridiculous,” he said. “…He gave me a tech. He said it was because I escalated the fight. You can fine me, do whatever. I know Trevor Booker. I’m trying to keep him away. Like, I know him personally. And they give me a tech. It’s preseason. Everyone’s trying to figure it out.”

Griffin admitted to trying to figure out what to do with the extra contact he takes. Following the Clippers win, Doc Rivers said he thought Griffin gets hit with more cheap shots than anyone in the league.

“I don’t think it’s close,” Rivers said.

Griffin, who has been often criticized for his reactions to hard fouls, realizes he’s in a bit of a Catch-22.

“On one hand, everyone tells me to do something. On the other hand, people tell me to not complain and just play ball,” Griffin said with a smile. “That happens. You’re not going to please everybody. I just have to do whatever I think is right and use my judgment.”


No. 2: No longball for Lakers — Over the last decade, NBA teams have increasingly noted the importance of the 3-point shot, even designing offenses around the long-range shot. But just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean the Lakers under new coach Byron Scott will do the same. This is not only because the Lakers are currently coping with injuries to perimeter players such as Nick Young and Steve Nash, but it’s more of a philosophy Scott is embracing. Baxter Holmes of ESPN Los Angeles has more:

“You’ve got a lot of teams that just live and die by it,” Scott said after the team’s practice here Friday. “Teams, general managers, coaches, they kind of draft that way to try to space the floor as much as possible. But you have to have shooters like that; you also have to have guys that can penetrate and get to the basket, because that opens up the floor.”

But does Scott believe in that style?

“I don’t believe it wins championships,” he said. “(It) gets you to the playoffs.”

Seven of the last eight NBA champions led all playoff teams in 3-point attempts and makes.

And it’s not as though Scott isn’t familiar with the 3-point shot. During his second season with the Lakers as a player, he led the NBA in 3-point field-goal percentage in 1984-85 (43 percent) and was in the top-10 in that category in three other seasons. Scott also ranked sixth in the NBA in 3-point attempts (179) and ninth in makes (62) during the 1987-88 season.

But are the Lakers’ low 3-point attempts this preseason a reflection of injuries or of how the Lakers will really end up playing this coming season?

“I don’t think that’s an indication of what we’ll be when we’re fully healthy,” Scott said. “I think it will still be 12, 13, 14, 15 (attempts per game), somewhere in that area, when we’re fully healthy.”


No. 3: Dwight for MVP? — With Kevin Durant out with a fractured foot, the MVP race doesn’t have a clear leader at the start of the season, at least if you’re eating at our Blogtable. But with all the names being tossed around, former MVP Hakeem Olajuwon says don’t forget about Houston big man Dwight Howard, who by all accounts is healthy and ready to return to the dominant style of play he showed in Orlando. Dwight himself says he’s never felt better. Our own Fran Blinebury has more

“He’s healthy. He’s strong. He’s ready,” said Olajuwon, who won the award in 1994 when he led the Rockets to the first of their back-to-back championships. “Now it’s about having the attitude to go out every night and dominate.”

The Hall of Famer officially rejoined his former team as a player development specialist after Howard signed a free agent contract with the Rockets in July 2013 and recently concluded his second training camp stint working with the All-Star center before returning to his home in Amman, Jordan. Prior to the start of camp, Olajuwon had not worked with Howard since the end of last season.

“He’s older, more mature and you can tell that he is feeling better physically,” Olajuwon said. “I like what I saw. He is a very hard worker. He takes the job seriously and you can see that he has used some of the things we talked about last season and is making them part of his game.”

Howard averaged 18.3 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots in his first season with the Rockets and Olajuwon thinks the 28-year-old was just scratching the surface as he regained fitness.

“It was a good start, but last year Dwight was still trying to recover from the back surgery and to feel like himself again,” said Olajuwon. “I think a lot of people don’t appreciate what it is like for an athlete to have a back injury. It is serious. It is a challenge.

“I could see last year when I worked with him in camp that there were some things that he could not do. Or they were things that he did not think he could do. The difference now is that he is fit and those doubts are gone. This is the player who can go back to being the best center in the league and the kind of player that can lead his team to a championship. I think he should be dominant at both ends of the floor.”


No. 4: Pistons and Celtics make deal — Neither Detroit nor Boston are expected to contend for an Eastern Conference crown this season, but they found themselves able to do business together yesterday. The Pistons moved reserve point guard Will Bynum to Boston in exchange for reserve big man Joel Anthony. According to the Detroit Free Press, the trade clears room for recent draft pick Spencer Dinwiddie.

The first trade of the Stan Van Gundy era wasn’t exactly a blockbuster, but it does give insight into the Detroit Pistons’ thinking as the Oct. 27 deadline for roster finalization looms.

The Pistons today added frontcourt depth by acquiring NBA veteran Joel Anthony from the Boston Celtics in exchange for point guard Will Bynum.

The move signals that the team is comfortable with second-round draft pick Spencer Dinwiddie as the No. 3 point guard as he continues to rehab the left knee injury he suffered in January.

Dinwiddie is progressing nicely and recently took part in 5-on-5 drills for the first time. So Bynum, whose days were numbered when the organization hired Van Gundy as its president and coach, became expendable.


SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Sixers organization is offering support for Joel Embiid, who’s younger brother was tragically killed in a vehicle accident in Cameroon … After undergoing “a minor outpatient surgical procedure,” Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders will miss the rest of the preseasonDeMarcus Cousins is dealing with achilles tendonitis … Glen “Big Baby” Davis is out indefinitely with a strained groin … Jason Kapono says if he doesn’t make the Warriors, he will “go back to chillin'” …


  1. LOL let’s see here

    the guy who is a flop factory on both sides of the ball, particularly when he jumps for a rebound and on the way down crashes to the court as if the Earth’s force of gravity suddenly tripled at the start of his descent

    and who regularly wards off a shot blocker’s hand with his off-arm, hooks his defender when making a move, and shoves his forearm into people’s faces while “posterizing” them and subsequently enjoying some of that foul philanthropy when the officials call a foul on THE OTHER player

    is complaining about contact from other players?


    blake griffin’s credibility: zero and sekou smith credibility for even giving credence to this nonsense: zero

    there is no story here, move along.

  2. Sunny Ng says:

    Listen up Lakers coach,you are waiting to be fired soon when you don’t make payoff. Don’t blame on injuries,ok. Facts are 7 out of 8 champion team all depend on 3-point shooting. Please go back to study all the stats out there. The last four all won on shooting well on 3s. Do not run your mouth unless you win any games without 3 points . Good luck and study hard so you don’t get fired soon.

    • Celentano says:

      What the hell Byron Scott saying? 3pt shot don’t win championship. Lol! The spurs just did it last yr. two years before that Miami did it too(miller, battier). He just saying that coz he got no shooter on his roster. Lol!

  3. "Smart" NBA fan says:

    Blake needs to lands on a few punches and maybe dudes will lay off him some. i say its worth a 5 game suspension and a small fine. cmon blake are you tough or not? give them what they askin for….

  4. Jackie says:

    Blake must be aggressive and have a bad temper. do not be a good man with good temper. in this way, no one dares to hit him again

  5. harriethehawk says:

    When Blake Griffin has had enough, he has the potential to really hurt someone. These fools better stop playing with him. Cry baby or not.

    • slider821 says:

      i don’t think him throwing a punch or two, even landing some punches, is going to make guys stop fouling him hard. he’s getting fouled hard not because he hasn’t retaliated yet, but becuase he always tries to posterize guys. one retaliation is not going to make every defender give him an open lane to make them look foolish. it’ll keep happening as long as he tries to posterize guys.

      blake needs to pick his spots if he is really upset about the hard fouls. 2pts is 2 pts. save your flashy dunks for open court lobs. if zbo is between you and the rim, maybe dunking it on his face and trying to make him look stupid isn’t the smartest play. blake needs to weigh his options more because the hard fouls arnt ever going to stop.

  6. zen says:

    if u gonna go in the paint …man up or shut up

  7. BigEarn says:

    why is that blake-guy always whining so much? btw he’s not too bad at throwing elbows and stuff either

    • theone says:

      he’s not whining, he’s being honest, that phenomena is happening, and its not good for him, he’s not a dissociative coward like BIGEarn, so at least he has courage to be honest about it, he should throw a punch or two, he’s so strong and athletic that dumb peasants dont notice it, but it still affects him, and he should plant his foot and accept none of it,

      • theone says:

        He’s so strong and athletic, that people dont notice as much when ppl do stuff to him, but it still affects him, the energy verberations still impact him,,, but whatev,,, no use speaking to a fool

  8. Telusfrankley says:

    Blake Griffin the biggest crybaby in the league. He should adopt the name of his team mate on the front line.
    He flies around out of control and then whines when it winds up a collision.
    I’m tired of his dramatics when he deliberately puts his hand or fist into someones armpit and then flails for a fowl.

  9. pokie says:

    Players who dish extra contact often receive extra contact.

  10. "Smart" NBA fan says:

    i know you think he pushes off but thats not hurting them at all. dudes are coming at him HARD! trying to take him out like…cmon blake needs to land some punches on a guy or two straight up. dont beat around the bush knock a few dudes and the next guy will be like nah im getting out the way. youll earn a hard imagine like alonzo mourning karl malone shawn kemp rasheed wallace dennis rodman ect….make your statement for dudes to stop fouling you hard or they will g et punched in there mouths. end of story fight fire with fire. thats all its very simple man up Blake!

  11. jcross-- says:

    He usually gets them all back anyways by dunking on everybody’s faces.

  12. aleeksc says:

    Hard fouls are what causes players to leave with injuries, sometimes career ending.

    No one wants to see that, especially the recipient of the hard foul.

    If Blake hadn’t been able to regain his balance and land on his feet last night, he could have just as easily landed on his back or broken/fractured his wrist/hand if he’d tried to break his fall.

    I would be pissed if someone tried to stop me from earning multi-millions and playing the game that I love, wouldn’t you?

  13. Skrutz says:

    Why does everyone say he’s crying? He can’t just start a fight. People pull cheap shots, the best he can do is do the same thing back – so he does. Doesn’t make me happy, but getting in a brawl is a stupid thing to do and a good way to tarnish your image.

  14. meowmeowmagoo says:

    Maybe Blake gets fouled a lot because he fouls a lot….

  15. fabrice says:

    What a CRY BABY.

    • I neverplayed bball says:

      Whoever say that Blake is a cry baby or soft , those are the people never played the game of basketball in their life only on their driveway hoops. If u played pick up game and someone shove u or slap you in the face are u gonna let it go? Ofcourse not!..Now because they’re are PRO athlete they must to control their emotion most of the time

      • slider821 says:

        Except Blake wasn’t shoved or slapped, he was cleanly fouled hard while trying to posterize someone. Every pickup game I’ve been a part of, if you try to dunk hard on someone, you’re going to get fouled hard. I think it’s even more common in pickup games because there are no fouls. In pickup games, you really have to think if trying to poster someone is worth it if they are going to hard foul you. Often times you may reconsider dunking out of worry of the other guy ‘not letting that happen’. A lot of guys in pickup games are ‘not letting that happen’ by any means and will take you out if they see you go hard for a dunk. It’s more common in colleges than ymca style games. I’ve definitely been rocked by trying to take it hard on the wrong type of guy. Sure it causes anger when they foul you. But if you’ve been through it before, you know you deserved it because you went to poster someone. A fight may start, it’s what happens. A fight is the dunkers response to a defender ‘not letting that happen’. It’s all very common in college pickup.

        Problem in the NBA is the refs protect the dunker by calling flagrants and not letting fights happen. So the defender can still inflict punishment but the dunker doesn’t realize he brought the punishment on himself by trying a poster and he cannot fight as a response like one would do in pickup. He find himself where Blake finds himself now; “I still want to dunk hard on everyone and make fools of them, but they won’t let me and I can’t respond to them not letting me”. It is indeed a catch-22 in the NBA and Blake I think understands it. If he wants to continue to make dudes look silly, they are going to keep trying to stop it whatever means necessary. no simple solution.

  16. TheKush says:

    When Baron Davis was on the Clippers he use to help defend Blake Griffin but there really isn’t any enforcer on the Clippers. No Charles Oakley… Michael Jordan went through the same thing, Vince Carter went through it in his hay day. Kobe swung back the most, Chris Childs threw a bunch at Kobe and Kobe swung back most people don’t remember Chris Childs, plus Kobe got into a fight with Shaq so people knew not to mess with Kobe.

    High flyers especially the ones with commercials are targets, everybody wants to make a name for themselves and that’s why this continues to happen to Blake Griffin. If I were him I would have thrown a few punches and taken my suspensions a long time ago, plus it’s preseason what miss maybe 5 regular season games for punching a dude in his jaw? Do it again a few more times to get your point across,

    By the time the playoffs rolls around the referees would intervene based on your past history. If you’re in the streets and someone is trying to punk you even if you know you can’t fight or beat the person up you gotta fight back it’s the only way to make someone think twice about messing with you, if someone stronger than you tries to bully you fight like hell, fight dirty, fight ugly, just fight the bully will think twice about messing with you the next time. Plus Karl Malone already said he’d pay your fine. Blake punch a dude in his jaw do for the mailman!!!

    Blake it’s time to take a few fines!!! nothing cute just swing for fences!!!

  17. T gas TT ako says:

    when you “PUSH” some , you will “GET” some!!!!! deal w/ it blake

  18. Charlie says:

    Griffin…my heart bleeds. Join the WNBA

  19. jrocks says:

    If Its a Foul, Than Why Are The Refs Not Calling It Umm Maybe Because It Isnt A Foul. It seems like your Being The Cry Baby Here.

  20. mick says:

    Blake, when you posterise people by using your off arm to puah them away (an offensive foul by the way) expect some hard hits. Toughen up, watch an 80’s to mid-90s game, understand that a little shove is nothing, and quit crying…