Tag:Los Angeles Clippers
Posted on: February 5, 2011 1:03 am
Edited on: February 5, 2011 10:37 am
Posted by Matt Moore
Allright, so let's just skip to the chase. 3.3 seconds remaining. The Clippers lead the Hawks by one. Al Horford gets the ball and goes straight for the basket past his man. Blake Griffin goes to intercept. Two high-speed, high-mass objects meeting at a high velocity. KABOOM.
A flagrant foul was called. Al Horford, beyond all reason, nailed both free throws after taking that hit, the Hawks inbounded, ran out the clock, and won the game.
There will be two lines of thought on this. For your convenience, we'll present them both so you can blindly agree with and/or rail against them in the comments.
Option 1: Griffin should not have been assessed a flagrant. He went straight up, made a play on the ball, and gave a good hard foul. You can't punish a guy if he makes an honest attempt at a block and the guy lands hard. What the fans love about Griffin is his intensity and constant fearless nature. He wasn't willing to surrender the bucket like so many terrible NBA defenders, and Horford landed hard. These things happen. In the 80's that wouldn't be a flagrant foul. There was nothing excessive about it, it was just a hard play on the ball. To continue to remove the ability of players to make honest attempts to defend is to mire the league further in flopping and porous defense. Griffin clearly wasn't trying to hurt Horford, but if you want to drive in his lane, you have to be willing to pay the price.
Option 2: Griffin was reckless in his approach, made contact, and followed through. That's what led to the flagrant and the players have to be protected. You'll notice at the .47 mark, Horford lands, flat on his back, with his legs straight in the air, and Griffin's arms landing on top of him. It wasn't just the initial contact that warranted the foul, it was the follow through. Griffin's approach was approximately straight up and down, but in making contact and extending both arms, he was reckless in his approach. You have to manage your intensity with protecting your fellow player. This isn't Chris Bosh complaining about someone diving for a loose ball. This is Al Horford landing flat on his back from a severe height at high velocity, with Griffin pushing down on his chest on the way down. The attempt doesn't have to be intentional to be excessive . Horford could have been severely injured. Griffin can play in such a way as to make people afraid he's going to kill himself. The same can't be said for risking the health of players around him. Good call on the flagrant.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 12:15 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 5:57 pm
The Chicago Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, Blake Griffin threw down two amazing dunks, the Denver Nuggets topped the Portland Trail Blazers and plenty more.
Posted by Ben Golliver.
Each game is made up of elements that help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the previous night's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what led to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.
THE BIG ONE: BULLS TOPPLE CLIPPERS
The Bulls easily handled the Clippers, 106-88, on Wednesday night, and this was of the classic "well-oiled team defeating one-man show" variety that we've seen for decades in the NBA.
As the Clippers' broadcasting crew kept repeating (apparently to remind or reassure themselves): the Bulls are really good. Even without Joakim Noah, the Bulls remain an excellently constructed team, with Derrick Rose leading a cavalry charge that includes talent both inside and out. Last night, Chicago got big contributions from both, with Luol Deng going off for 26 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson combined for 25 points and 22 rebounds, effectively neutralizing Blake Griffin's explosion for 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.
While Griffin went huge, Rose was clearly the best player on the court, delivering on the MVP hype he's generated recently and controlling the flow and pace of play with relative ease. His jumper (4-of-8 from distance) was dropping, which makes it impossible to guard him, and he finished with 32 points (on just 18 shots) and 11 assists.
The Bulls hit shots, rebounded (41 to 30 overall) and moved the ball (27 assists on 40 baskets). Throw Noah into this mix and Chicago is the second-best team in the Eastern Conference.
GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:
Derrick Rose: 32 points, three rebounds, 11 assists, one steal, one block on 11-of-18 shooting in 38 minutes in a Chicago Bulls road win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Blake Griffin: 32 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, one block on 14-of-26 shooting in 41 minutes in a Los Angeles Clippers home loss to the Chicago Bulls.
DENVER DROPS PORTLAND:Those in the "The Nuggets are really good, why does Melo want to leave?" camp got a signature win last night, as Denver took care of Portland 109-90 at the Pepsi Center. After dealing with various rehabs and injuries, the Nuggets are as healthy as they are going to get right now, and their eight-man core rotation was clicking on all cylinders, even though Carmelo Anthony wasn't having an explosive offensive night.
Denver's top 8 all finished with positive +/- and they destroyed Portland on the boards, even though the Blazers are one of the league's better rebounding teams. Portland, of course, is playing without starting center Marcus Camby, and the Nuggets were able to capitalize on this fact (unlike the San Antonio Spurs, who played the Blazers on Tuesday night) by bullying and pounding Portland's big men in the paint. The results: 42 points in the paint, 51.9 percent shooting, 19 assists on 40 made baskets, excellent scoring balance and a big night (22 points and 10 boards) from the chronically overlooked Nene.
For Nuggets fans, all of this adds an extra element of frustration should Anthony be moved prior to the trade deadline. It's clear now that this veteran group does indeed have at least one final, strong playoff left in the tank, and with teams appearing to falter all around them -- including the Lakers and the Jazz -- there's got to be a "Why not us?" sentiment developing in the Mile High City.
The question, of course: Does Anthony feel that too, or is his mind somewhere else entirely?
HIGHLIGHT REEL:Who else but Blake Griffin? He did it again (twice) on Wednesday night in a 106-88 loss the Bulls.
First up is another long distance alley-oop, this time from guard Randy Foye. Griffin catches the pass on the move and flies over Bulls forward Kyle Korver to throw down a two-handed dunk. The crowd goes absolutely nuts.
Later in the game, Griffin takes Bulls forward Kurt Thomas to the rack, deciding to go up and under the rim to get off a shot attempt. The only problem? Bulls forward Taj Gibson drops down to provide weakside defense. Griffin's solution? Dunk over the top of both of them, of course. Stick around until the end of the video for the slow-motion replay. Incredible.
WHIMSY:Via 30 FPS , here's a funny screen cap from the Staples Center crowd after Griffin's first dunk. ESPN personality and Clippers season ticket holder Bill Simmons can be celebrating the dunk with child-like glee, thrusting his fist into the air like the Clippers just won a playoff game.
FINAL THOUGHT:My most-desired playoff series -- aside from Boston sweeping the Miami Heat -- is a potential Boston vs. Chicago matchup: student vs. teacher, Derrick Rose vs. Rajon Rondo, smart, tough team vs. smart, tough team. If Rose is as good as he appears this year, the Celtics would take on the Bad Boy Pistons role in this narrative.
A final, final thought: starting to get itchy for the playoffs. It's that time of year.
Posted on: February 2, 2011 11:36 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 11:40 pm
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin dunks over Chicago Bulls forward Kyle Korver on an alley oop pass. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Oh me, oh my. Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin did it again. During the second quarter of a Wednesday night game against the Chicago Bulls, Griffin corralled an alley oop pass from Clippers guard Randy Foye in transition and stuffed it home over Bulls forward Kyle Korver. The Staples Center crowd, as always, went nuts.
Take a look at the video.
The dunk cut Chicago's lead to 48-45.
Posted on: February 1, 2011 10:44 am
Edited on: February 1, 2011 12:56 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Los Angeles Clippers are in transition right now. They're moving away from the big dollar veterans and focusing more on low cost youngsters.
Chris Kaman, who was an All-Star last season, has been out with a bad left ankle for most of the season. He hasn't played since Dec. 5 and there's no timetable for his return. And really, I'm not sure the Clippers are rushing him by any means.
Coach Vinny Del Negro said Monday that if you want to ask about Kaman's availability, just call.
"It depends on what is out there, if there is someone we feel makes us a better team," Del Negro told the Los Angeles Daily News. "We're not in a position not to take a look at everything. It's nothing against Chris. He has tremendous skills. I love him and we need him. But if there is something that would help improve the L.A. Clippers, we would look at anything."
You hear that NBA? Anything. They'll look at anything.
Of course what makes Kaman that much more expendable is the rise of DeAndre Jordan. The athletic seven-footer has become a true presence in the middle, complementing Blake Griffin's game perfectly. Kaman, who is 28, is an offensive center that is looking for 12-15 shot attempts a game. Jordan is fine taking four, with all of them being dunks.
Problem for the Clippers is that Kaman's value isn't near as high as it was two months ago. He's injured so a team looking to add him for help down the stretch isn't sure about what he's going to give. And on top of that, before going down, Kaman wasn't playing all that well. On the season, he's averaging 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in just 10 games.
What does make Kaman harder to move is his contract. He has two years left on it but at $24 million. He is an All-Star level big man though so a contending team might be interested in bringing him in for a playoff push. Again, the injuries though limits his value to a degree though.
The Clippers would certainly be doing themseves a favor in moving Kaman and fully embracing the youth movement. There's some actual, legitimate excitement and momentum around the franchise right now and it's because of the young talent. Jordan and Griffin are a big part of that. Not to say Kaman doesn't have big time ability, but for the Clippers, it's just better to let the young guys have their minutes. The season's already likely a wash, so just dedicate it to letting your horses get better.
Plenty of teams would be interested in Kaman I'm sure. And like Del Negro said, just pick up the phone.
Posted on: January 31, 2011 8:16 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2011 6:26 am
Who deserves the reserve forward spot for the West? Our NBA crew debates LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, and Blake Griffin for a spot.
Posted by Matt Moore
All-Star reserves will be announced on Thursday, and par for the course, the coaches have some tough decisions. We'll be debating the merits of each choice the coaches will have to make. These debates don't necessarily reflect the actual opinions of the writers. Think of it as opposition research, only if we opposed everyone. Our first debate? LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Blake Griffin vs. Kevin Love.
LaMarcus Aldridge: The professional's choice
by Ben Golliver
Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan has spearheaded the All-Star campaign for his power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, and that's no accident. Aldridge's play this year has been a coach's dream and, as coaches happen to vote on these things, who better than his coach to lay out the credentials? In the face of another disastrous injury-plagued season, Aldridge has been a rock. He's No. 7 in the minute in minute's played and No. 1 overall for big men. Despite playing on one of the league's slowest-paced teams, playing next to one of the league's premier rebounders, and shifting from "B" option to "A" option on offense, Aldridge has posted 21 points per game and nine rebounds per game averages, career-high marks in both categories.
In addition to his consistency and production, Aldridge has done what his All-Star competitors haven't been able to do: keep Portland above .500. The Blazers, despite losing two of their three franchise building blocks along with multiple other players to season-ending knee surgeries, are 25-21 and firmly in the Western Conference playoff picture. Coaches love winning and they love winning players. Aldridge has improved as a passer and offense facilitator, and he's also focused more of his attention on banging in the paint, working the boards and finishing at the rim, evidenced by his high dunk numbers. This turn of play has been a long-awaited revelation in the Rose City, and coaches love development and hard work.
They also love winning. When Aldridge needed tests done on a sore hip recently, Portland fans were forced to confront a Blazers unit without Aldridge, and the mental image wasn't pretty. The poor-shooting, inconsistent group that would be left if Aldridge missed time would be on par with the dregs of the league, like the Cleveland Cavaliers or, you know, the Minnesota Timberwolves with Kevin Love. Numbers without Ws are just numbers, and hopefully the coaches get this one right.
Blake Griffin: Putting the "star" in "exploding star of dunk violence that could destroy the universe"
by Royce Young
Blake Griffin doesn't have the big rebounding numbers like Kevin Love. His team isn't a winner like LaMarcus Aldridge's.
And yet, I'm about to tell you why Griffin is the no-brainer choice.
It all comes back to his 47-point explosion against the Pacers. Griffin, who has set the league on fire with his high-flying dunks, his ridiculous putbacks and wild alley-oops, had just one dunk in his best game of the season. One. This is the guy that leads the league in dunks and scores more than 25 percent of his points on crams. Except in his very best game, he only stuffed it once.
The reason? Because he's maybe the most uniquely skilled power forward in the league. He runs the floor like a small forward, jumps like shooting guard and handles and passes like a point. Blake Griffin, is seriously one of the most physically gifted players in the league.
And not to say he doesn't have big-time numbers. He's fourth in the league in rebounding (12.8 per game), averages 22.6 points a game and even dishes out 3.5 assists a night. All while capturing our imaginations every night while we wait for the next super highlight. The All-Star Game is looking for supreme talent, big numbers and a superstar entity that won't let us take our eyes off him. If Griffin isn't the guy that fits all of that and more, then we've seriously got to re-evaluate what we want.
Kevin Love: Simply exceptional
by Matt Moore
Kevin Love is the best rebounder in the league. That's pretty much it. If you have a guy who's the best in the NBA at something as valuable and necessary as rebounding to the game of basketball, that person deserves to be in the All-Star game. He leads the league in offensive, defensive, and total rebounds per game and per 40 minutes. He's second behind Marcus Camby in percentage of available rebounds snagged while playing nine fewer minutes. He's the primary concern from an opposing rebounder's perspective, and yet he's been dominant. This in a league that features quite a few great rebounders, most notably Dwight Howard who is a monster among boys most of the time, physically.
But that's just the rebounding. It would be one thing were he Dennis Rodman whose only trick in the bag offensively was rebounding. But Love is averaging 21 points per game, on 47% shooting, and hitting 45% from three. Is there a more well-rounded offensive weapon outside the truly elite forwards in this league? Sure, the team is woeful and Love gets a fair number of rebounds off his own miss and by snagging his teammates' boards. But he's still fighting for each and every one while carrying a huge load of the Wolves' offense, and outside of Beasley, is the only real threat on that team.
To punish Love for the fact that his teammates are well, chosen by David Kahn is to miss the point of the All-Star game: to represent the best players in the league. Kevin Love is unquestionably one of those. He's got the huge games (30 rebounds, are you serious?) to his credit, the consistency, the offensive ability, the name recognition, and the superb elitism at his position. To exempt Love from the All-Star game is to become too far removed from the very word: star. Just because he's anchored by his franchise and he doesn't dominate with a fadeaway jumper does not mean that he's not worthy of the honor. Kevin Love should be an All-Star.
Posted on: January 31, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2011 4:46 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Would you be surprised if I told you Blake Griffin did some very re-watchable things in the month of January? That's what I thought. Here's a look back at his five best plays from January:
5. Below the rim, but above the rest
I love Griffin's non-dunk highlights the best because they show off how skilled he really is. And this layup against the Bobcats is another one of those where your jaw drops when as you see a 6-10, 250-pound power forward glide through the lane like he's Kobe Bryant. One thing we've learned about Griffin though: He likes to spin. A lot.
4. Just throw this one from the stands next time
Randy Foye to Griffin from 55 feet. It's getting more and more ridiculous. The dunk itself was kind of ho-hum, but the fact this thing covered nearly the entire 94 feet of the floor is insane. The timing it takes to hook up on that is what's to really be appreciated.
3. He missed this one
And thank goodness he did. Because otherwise I think we'd have to just pack up basketball and end it all right there. That oop would've just been too ridiculous. Really though, I almost think the fact that he missed it makes the highlight that much better. Because it leaves our imagination open to if he had made it. Just how awesome would it have been? It's fun to think about.
2. Now you're just going for degree of difficulty
Eric Bledsoe is one of the fanciest passers in the league and one of the fastest point guards out there too. So how shocking is it that it took until mid-January for him to hook up with Griffin on a lob? But the wait was well worth it. A beautiful no-look dish and Griffin finished this one in style.
Griffin dropped 47 on the Indiana Pacers and did it with only a single dunk. More than anything, this game showed off just how incredible his skillset really is. The jab-step jumpshots. The driving layups. The post-ups. The hook shots. The entire arsenal is on display here in one of the season's top performances.
Posted on: January 26, 2011 12:33 am
Blake Griffin falls awkwardly in loss to Mavericks, X-Rays negative.
Posted by Matt Moore
X-Rays for Blake Griffin's arm were negative tonight, he's listed as having suffered a left elbow contusion in the Clippers' loss to Dallas Tuesday night. Griffin wrapped around Brendan Haywood on the baseline in the third quarter, was tripped and landed awkwardly on his arm. It was yet another in a series of violent collisions with the ground for Griffin. It's the one concern in what has been a historic season for Griffin who is close to securing an All-Star birth. He's either colliding violently with the rim or crashing to the earth. And with every destructive dunk the defense becomes more and more inclined to put Griffin on his back.
So far he's been impervious to injury after breaking his kneecap before his rookie season. But things like this make you nervous for his future if he keeps crashing to the floor like that.
Griffin is listed day-to-day. We'll keep you updated on his status. Clipper fans, exhale. Well, except for Eric Gordon's injury. You can keep not breathing on that one.
Posted on: January 25, 2011 9:13 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 9:20 pm
Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon is expected to miss at least three weeks with a wrist injury. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon is one of the league's most improved, underrated and overlooked players, and he's also one of the league's most prolific and consistent scorers. Unfortunately for those in Southern California, he's also now officially sidelined due to injury and likely won't return until after the All-Star break.
The Clippers reported Tuesday that Gordon is expected to miss "three to four weeks" with a "sprained right wrist combined with a small bone chip fracture." Ouch.
Los Angeles Clippers' guard Eric Gordon did not travel with the team to Dallas for tonight's game against the Maverick's so he could remain in Los Angeles for further examination on his right wrist, injured in a fall this past Saturday in a game versus the Golden State Warriors.
Gordon was examined today by Dr. Steve Chin at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic. He was examined previously by Clippers' team physician/orthopedist Dr. Steven Shimoyama and Dr. Roy A. Meals, a orthopedist specializing in hand-related injuries.Gordon, a third year off guard out of Indiana, has improved his numbers in just about every statistical category this season, putting up 24.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game. At age 22, this would make him one of the most hyped young players in the league, if not for the fact that he plays alongside surefire Rookie of the Year and dunk machine Blake Griffin.
Gordon has thrived as the outside counter when teams pay too much attention to Griffin down low, as he's both a reliable three-point shooter and an effective scorer off the dribble.
Gordon leads the Clippers in minutes per game this season, so he won't be easily replaced. LA's backcourt depth isn't great, so guys like Randy Foye, Eric Bledsoe, and Rasual Butler will probably all see their minutes hiked.
It's tough timing for the Clippers, as they play 12 games in the next three weeks and 13 games prior to the All-Star break. That stretch includes an 8-game road trip immediately prior to the break, which features games against the Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and New York Knicks in succession. Wow. Good luck with that.