Tag:Los Angeles Clippers
Posted on: January 23, 2011 1:44 am
 

Blake Griffin doing very Blake Griffin things

Posted by Royce Young

The Clippers won again at home, taking down the Warriors 113-109 for a sixth straight win at Staples. And guess who played a really good game for them?

Blake Austin Griffin. (Did you know his middle name was Austin? That means his intials are BAG. Anyway, what was I saying again?)

Griffin nearly did something entirely amazing, flirting with a historic 30-20-10 game, but came up just short. I guess 30 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists is pretty OK though.

And then of course, Griffin did this.



What can you possibly say about the Clipper rookie at this point? Let's list a few things he's done:

1) Revived a fan base that was one of the most depressed in all of sports. 2) Is averaging almost 30 and 15 in January. 3) Has brought back the good Baron Davis. Because of Griffin's inspiring play and hustle, the Clippers have gotten two good players because of Griffin. 4) Has the Clippers talking playoffs. This year. 5) Made the Clippers a must-watch team while also making them nearly as big a deal in Los Angeles as the Lakers. For real.

That list could go on and on. But for now, just admire his work from Saturday against the Warriors. And get ready to see a lot more of it.
Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:47 am
Edited on: January 21, 2011 12:17 pm
 

The Game Changer: Portland keeps fighting

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  

THE BIG ONE: CLIPS LEAVE CALIFORNIA, LOSE

The Los Angeles Clippers have been playing pretty well lately. So well in fact that people have actually been talking about the potential of them making a run to the playoffs. This year. Myself included. When you look at that roster and how good they are capable of playing and who they've beat, it seems completely possible.

But all of this has come at home, or at least near home. That's the thing about mediocre and bad teams. They can win at home. Look at the Wizards. They're 12-8 at home. But 0-20 on the road. The Clippers are in that same territory (13-13 home, 3-13 road). These games they've won that's got everyone's heart pumping have come at Staples. But now they're on the road for 11 straight and it started in Portland Thursday.

And we learned two things:

1) The Clippers aren't actually there and 2) but they aren't that far off. The Blazers are a very good team at home and the Clippers are a young team that really doesn't know how to win away from Staples. Los Angeles hung tough, battling back every time Portland pushed a lead into double-digits. Whether it was a big shot from Eric Gordon or a big putback by Blake Griffin, the Clips hung tough. That's the first step in winning against good teams on the road -- at least be in the game for the entire 48 minutes. And the Clippers are getting there.

But Portland showed why its still a good team, despite all the injuries. They have savvy veterans and it was displayed extremely well at the end of each quarter. The Clippers would spend an entire quarter coming back, but the Blazers would rip off a 15-4 or 12-3 run to close the period, putting L.A. back in a hole. Again, young team against a veteran team at home.

Two more points to make:

Blake Griffin is the Clippers best player. We know that. But Eric Gordon isn't far behind at all. Thirty-five points and seven 3s against Portland.

LaMarcus Aldridge might not make the All-Star Game, but he tried to state his case Thursday. He finished with 28 on 13-20 shooting against Griffin and held the Clipper stud to 6-16 shooting.

Four in a row for Portland. The hits keep coming with Marcus Camby being out for a few weeks, but Nate McMillan keeps them ticking.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Eric Gordon had 35 points that included a 7-11 effort from 3.

Derrick Rose had 26 points nine assists and seven assists. He shot just 9-28 from the field but scored 14 of his 26 in the fourth quarter.

Thaddeus Young had 21 points on 9-14 shooting plus six rebounds off the bench for Philly in a loss to Charlotte.

D.J. Augustin put up 31 and dished out eight assists in the Bobcats win over the 76ers.

Blake Griffin
had a typical night with 20 points and 18 boards but his Clippers came up short in Portland.

LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 28 against Griffin, hitting 13-20 from the field.

DIRK IS STILL HURTING AND SO ARE THE MAVS

The Mavericks and Bulls are both teams that have been battling injuries. It's just one team has been battling a little bit better.

The Bulls took down the Mavs 82-77 in a defensive struggle and did it without Carlos Boozer who missed a third straight game with a sprained ankle. And of course they're missing Joakim Noah because of thumb surgery.

Dallas on the other hand is without Caron Butler who is recovering from knee surgery and has Dirk Nowitzki back, but Dirk clearly isn't right. Nowitzki was just 6-16 from the field, grabbed only two rebounds and was visibly limping all over the floor. He'd stop on every other possession and adjust the wrap on his right knee, or stretch out his leg. He's fighting through this thing because his team is kind of in a situation it needs him, but Dirk isn't Dirk right now.

On the other hand, what helps the Bulls press through the injuries more so than the Mavs is that Chicago's best player isn't playing without any problems. Derrick Rose was again fairly terrific, dropping 26 points while dishing out nine assists and grabbing seven rebounds.

Nevermind that Rose was just 9-28 from the floor. He may have taken more shots than he scored points but he hit big ones late and was a big reason his team won. Hey, when Kobe does it we all rave about what a closer he is. So cut Rose some slack.

Read the rest of how the Bulls powered past the hurting Mavs here.

WHAT DOES 17-24 GET YOU?

How about seventh place in the East?

When you're a team like the Bobcats, you take wins however you can get them. With news coming that Tyrus Thomas will be out for an extended period of time because of a torn meniscus, Charlotte was left short-handed against the 76ers.

So how do you win? Unlikely characters step up. D.J. Augustin looked like a combination of Chris Paul and Deron Williams in the first half, scoring a flurry of points. And to finish, it was Gerald Wallace who hit three clutch shots down the stretch as Charlotte topped Philadelphia 100-97.

The Bobcats aren't necessarily a seventh place team, but that's where they sit now. Under new coach Paul Silas they are 8-5 and more importantly, the team's young players are showing development. Augustin is playing the best basketball of his career and Henderson finally stepped up in a big way offensively. It could be short lived as Charlotte has only 13 healthy players on the roster, but for now, live it up in seventh.

LUCK OR JUST GOOD?

Rudy Fernandez hit a wild hook shot against the Clippers and said after the game, "It's a Euro thing. You wouldn't understand." You're right Rudy. I don't understand.


Posted on: January 20, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 1:44 pm
 

Game Changer: Clippers keep rolling

The Los Angeles Clippers keep rolling, Blake Griffin goes 360 pivot before dunking, Monta Ellis hits a game-winner and more. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer. 

THE BIG ONE: CLIPPERS KEEP ROLLING

There's no better story in the NBA over the last two weeks than the resurgent Los Angeles Clippers, who pulled themselves together after a dreadful start to the season. Rather than treat 2011 as a walk of shame, the Clippers are cat-walking through the competition, notching their third straight victory and sixth in the last seven games by smashing the Minnesota Timberwolves, 126-111. 

Every night is the Blake Griffin show, and Griffin delivered yet again (see highlights below). But Wednesday night also revealed some excellent scoring balance and all-around unselfish, excited play. The Timberwolves are simply awful on defense and the Clippers exploited those holes nicely, getting lots of easy looks by registering 26 assists on 44 field goal makes, shooting nearly 50% as a team on the night.

Eric Gordon, battling through a finger injury, put up 23 points on just 14 shots and he didn't miss from downtown. With the Clippers' recent success, are we finally turning a corner as a nation and realizing what Gordon's been doing over the last few months? This nice SB Nation analysis suggests that maybe we are.

Aside from LA's headliners, there's progress to be seen up and down the roster. If you rewound back to the early struggles and made a checklist of the improvements you would want to see, that list would look something like...
  • DeAndre Jordan must play engaged, excited ball and trust his physical skills.
  • Baron Davis must try. Really try.
  • Eric Bledsoe needs to be an impact player in his minutes.
  • Griffin must get to the free throw line all night long.
All of those things happened last night, and it was smooth sailing against an inferior opponent. A major step for any lottery team comes when they are able to put away other lottery teams forcefully. Do that enough and you're in the playoff picture. If things keep clicking along like this, it's not impossible to imagine that Los Angeles could find themselves in a tussle for the Western Conference's 8th seed by season's end.

As for now, the second half of a home-and-away back-to-back greets them on Thursday night, in Portland against the Trail Blazers.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:


Danny Granger: 32 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, three steals, one block on 11-19 shooting in 42 minutes in an Indiana Pacers road loss to the Golden State Warriors.

DeJuan Blair: 22 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block on 11-16 shooting in 35 minutes in a San Antonio Spurs home victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Carmelo Anthony: 35 points, seven rebounds, one assist in 38 minutes in a Denver Nuggets home victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Monta Ellis: 36 points, five rebounds, six assists in 44 minutes in a Golden State Warriors home victory over the Indiana Pacers.

DON'T MISS:

WHIMSY:

Like Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal wrestling, except the exact opposite. Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough and Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry compete in a funny faces contest. Winner gets possession.   hansbrough-curry

HIGHLIGHT REEL PART ONE:

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin did it again for the 4,000,000th time this season in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves last night, taking the basketball coast-to-coast, pivoting 360 degrees to avoid Corey Brewer, taking two power gather dribbles and rising up to throw down the monster slam. Did I mention he's a power forward?



HIGHLIGHT REEL PART TWO:

This dunk is so nice you have to watch it twice. Here's Griffin in the super slow motion.


HERO OF THE NIGHT:

Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis delivers the last-second game-winner at home, pushing the Warriors past the Indiana Pacers 110-108, much to the delight of the Oracle Arena crowd. Courtesy of YouTube user thehoopscene.


Posted on: January 19, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 7:14 pm
 

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?

Posted by Royce Young



I'm not sure the Knicks have felt this lucky since the 1985 draft lottery. But really, something tells me all along that Donnie Walsh knew. He knew that Carmelo Anthony wasn't going to end up in New Jersey. That's why he kept the Knicks so low key in the Melodrama.

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov shocked most Wednesday by announcing his franchise was withdrawing from the Melo chase, citing that it was exhausting and taking up too many resources. He also said it was costing his team wins on the floor. I really think that Brook Lopez's desire to not rebound is probably doing that, but hey, he was looking for reasons.

(Now of course I have to mention that this could just be posturing or a threat to get Denver's attention, but general manager Billy King and Prokhorov seemed emphatic in saying it. These were public statements. It didn't seem like Prokhorov was trying to save face, even though that's what he really did. He knows Melo doesn't want to sign there. He feels like he's wasting time. So I don't buy the bluffing theory.)

With New Jersey pulling out, where does that leave the Nuggets? What does this mean for Carmelo? Denver had its best deal on the table with the four-team Nets deal that would give them assets in first-round picks, a young player in Derrick Favors and a lot of cap relief and savings. But that's gone now. Just like that, it's killed. Poof. Gone.

The hangup was always that Carmelo wasn't committed to signing an extension in New Jersey. If he was, this thing would've been done two months ago. But we kept hearing it over and over. Melo hasn't ever said he's willing to sign an extension with the Nets . Heck, Melo was basically saying it in every interview he did, but we just weren't listening. We were assuming that he was dancing around things. But he maintained he didn't know about the New Jersey stuff. All he ever said was he wanted to play in New York.

And now with New Jersey out of things, the Knicks are looking like the next, and really only option. Carmelo will sign an extension there. The Knicks have a decent package they can put together for the Nuggets. It all kind of makes sense now that the report dropped today about the Bulls re-entering the chase. The Nuggets are looking for leverage again and if the Knicks are the clear and only option, Denver won't get near the deal. Donnie Walsh sensed it when he said he was done talking about it. And Prokhorov was feeling it too. Everyone was starting to get played.

So here are the Melodrama options right now:

1. The Knicks spring into action. A New York offer will likely include Danilo Gallinari, Landry Fields/Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry's expiring deal and a first-round pick. At this point, this looks like the absolute best deal out there, but with other teams, well the Nets, backing off, that deal may not be as sweet. The Nuggets lost a lot of leverage today.

But it's been clear from the beginning that Carmelo wants to play in New York. He'll sign the extension there and the Nuggets can get a decent amount back. This clearly looks like the top scenario unless of course Denver just doesn't approve of what its getting back or the Knicks decide they'll just wait for the summer.

2. Someone tries to rent Melo. Ken Berger talked about the Mavericks getting into the mix a bit to rent Anthony. With the injury to Caron Butler, this makes a lot more sense. What it'll take is Dallas being willing to take on a big contract (like Al Harrington) in return. Dallas doesn't have a ton of assets so they'll likely have to bring in a third team, but Mark Cuban isn't shy about making moves. And this is something he'd likely see as a deal to get his team back in prime contention.

Another candidate for this would be the Rockets, but with them slipping out of the playoff picture a bit, they might not be willing to give up good assets just to make a run to the eight-seed. Dallas is the clear candidate to make a rental out of Melo.

What this scenario doesn't require is "approval" from Carmelo, because he won't sign an extension with his new team. But that's what he wants. This means the Nuggets will get far less because the Mavericks (or whoever) don't get Anthony for the long-term. Again, more indication the Nuggets will turn to the the Knicks to take over and make the deal.

3. A dark horse steps up and Melo approves. Chicago has already been looped in, but that just seems like a leverage ploy. The Bulls have never been rumored to be high on Carmelo's list and the Bulls have never appeared to be that interested in dealing.

The real dark horse here seems to be someone like the Clippers. They have a good package they could put together (Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman and some picks) and maybe Anthony gets excited about playing with Blake Griffin, who is taking over the league. Los Angeles is a big time market, the team is rising and with Anthony, they could even make a little run this year.

Probably pretty unlikely because Melo hasn't never wavered on his New York wishes, but in terms of scenarios, I think this is at least possible. Chances are slim, but it's an option. The Clippers can top New York's deal, but we'd likely be right back to square one with the "Will Melo sign an extension with the Clippers?" game. That's why it's going to end up being New York.

4. The Nets try and get back in right at the deadline. Again, with the way Prokhorov and King backed off, this doesn't seem likely. They know Melo doesn't want to sign with the Nets. It's that simple.

But walking away is the best negotiation tactic out there. The Nets are trying to buy a new car and the dealership isn't budging. So they got up and left the lot. Maybe this kicks Denver's rear into gear and talks fire up again in a few weeks. Maybe this was a ploy by Prokhorov to get the media off his team's back for a bit.

The fact is, New Jersey has the best deal for Denver. But Melo doesn't want to sign there. If Denver can't get anything it likes by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, the Nuggets might turn back to the Nets and the Nets might convince themselves that they can convinve Carmelo to sign.

5. Nothing. Melo wants that extension. He said recently that he's positive there will be a lockout and if he doesn't sign that three-year $65 million extension, he could lose as much as $80 million over the life of his next contract. I doubt he's willing to risk that much. However, if the Knicks aren't budging, because they know they can hold out for the summer and just let Melo sign with them as a free agent, and Melo doesn't want to go anywhere, else, we might just see the season get played out.

I don't see that as likely at all because if it comes to this, Denver will trade Melo to Dallas as a rental and get something back. But maybe Denver decides it can sign Melo itself again. Maybe they try and convince him that extension is better than waiting and signing with New York but losing money. I guess it's possible, but really unlikely.
Posted on: January 18, 2011 3:27 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2011 3:42 pm
 

Blake Griffin isn't just a dunker, he's a scorer

Posted by Royce Young

Blake Griffin leads the NBA in dunks. By a wide margin actually. According to the CBS Sports Dunk-O-Meter, Griffin has 91 dunks on the season, nine more than Dwight Howard.

In fact, 26 percent of Griffin's total field goals have come via a dunk. (Howard's number is at 27 percent.)

With his inclusion as the headliner in All-Star Weekend's dunk contest and the highlight reel he's put together halfway through the season, Griffin has become known as a dunker first, basketball player second.

But in his best game of the season, a 47-point explosion on just 24 shots, Griffin only dunked once. I know what you're thinking. Well how in the heck did he score then? The answer is, by doing a bit of everything. Watch:



As Ben Golliver pointed out yesterday, Griffin scored every way you can, except from the 3-point line. He attacked the rim. He got to the line. He posted. He hit the boards and put back rebounds. He spun, twirled and whirled all over the floor. And that little face-up bank shot? Oh my, so money.

The question really becomes after we saw the entire Griffin arsenal unleashed, how do you guard this guy? If he can hit a face-up jumper one second and then dribble right by you and finish with his face at the rim, how in the world do you stop him? You can try sending double-teams, except that Griffin is a gifted passer and can even dribble out of them. You can try and deny him the ball, except that he's so big and strong that he will get it. Or you can just foul him and try and make him beat you at the free throw line. Except over the past few games, he's hitting close to 70 percent from the stripe.

A lot of people wonder where Griffin got all this ability. I mean, how does a 6-10, 250-pound guy have the handles of a point guard and the moves of gifted small forward? First off, it's hard work. Nobody, and I mean nobody , has worked harder than Griffin at perfecting his game and getting into stellar shape. Blake and his brother Taylor spent their summers in college working out in California with trainer Frank Matrisciano. The Griffin brothers worked out on sand dunes and cliffs hanging over the Pacific Ocean. Taylor said once, "It's definitely one of the hardest things you will ever face. Frank's thing is that if you can run up a 60-degree incline in sand with a 60-pound weight vest on, then running 94 feet down a flat court should be easy."

After that, it's just Blake's background. I actually had the good fortune of knowing the Griffin brothers growing up, having played little league baseball with Taylor and also going to church events with both of them. (It's funny for me because I actually remember Blake being this little annoying kid that wouldn't get out of our dugout. Blake so badly wanted to play on our team, but he was too small. Imagine that.) Blake and Taylor both were homeschooled up until high school and played homeschool basketball. And both of them primarily were guards. Or more specifically, point forwards. That's the way things work a lot of times. Your best player has the ball and your best player does all the creating. That was certainly Blake's role.

If my memory serves me, Blake didn't really sprout into the monster he is now until he was a freshman. For most of his basketball career growing up, he was bigger than the other kids, but not THAT much bigger. So he played a lot of point guard and handled the ball. Taylor did the same. So as Blake grew into the beast that he is now, he had already overcome what so many big men battle. Blake had conquered ball handling and passing, because he did it extensively when he was 12. While other big men were planted in the post from the time they could pick up a ball, Griffin played outside, handling, passing and moving.

So really, that's the scariest thing about Blake's ceiling. He hasn't even had a ton of time to refine a real post game yet. He's still figuring out what he's good at and what the best way for him to score is. And just dropping 47 points on 24 shots in the meantime

But get this much straight: It's not just about the dunks.
Posted on: January 18, 2011 8:09 am
Edited on: January 18, 2011 8:11 am
 

Shootaround 1.18.2011: LeBron James' cartoon

LeBron James makes an animated series based on himself, Blake Griffin gets his technical foul rescinded and is called boring, Charles Barkley does the Dougie dance, and a whole lot more. Posted by Ben Golliver.  shootaround
  • The New York Times reports that there will be a new web-based animation series on LeBronJames.com starring "The LeBrons," the four different versions of himself crafted in the Nike commercials. James, the Miami Heat forward, says the series will help him pursue his childhood dream of being a superhero. "I think everybody, even grown-ups now, today all wish they could be a superhero. I definitely had that imagination of, like, wow, it would be great to look over a city and take down the bad guys. Absolutely, I had those visions."
  • Remember that fight between the Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers we mentioned yesterday? The NBA league office rescinded the technical fouls and ejections given to Ron Artest and Blake Griffin. The LA Times with the details, saying Artest will turn the found money into hamburgers. "I could've bought 10,000 In-N-Out Burgers. I rather would've done that than give it away. I'm going to get 10 burgers [after Monday's game]. I love In-N-Out. It's addicting. It's the only reason I'm here in L.A. If it wasn't for In-N-Out Burger, I probably would've gone to Memphis or something."
  • After his Orlando Magic lost to the Celtics in Boston on Monday night, WEEI reports that Dwight Howard told reporters, "The matchup is awesome,” said Howard, tongue firmly planted in cheek. “He won the victory tonight, but we will win the war." He, of course, is Shaquille O'Neal.
  • John Wall asked to be fined by coach Flip Saunders when he sulks, according to the Washington Post, so that he can turn himself into a more effective team leader.
  • Thunder forward Jeff Green left impressed by the Lakers, according to NewsOk.com. "They’re playing a lot better right now. They’ve got their rhythm. They’re the champions. They know when to turn it on."
  • The LA Times says Blake Griffin is a boring interview. His response: "I didn't know I was boring until I was told I was boring.''
  • Detroit Pistons rookie center Greg Monroe, who started slow this season, had a career-high 16 points against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. The Detroit News writes that teammate Tayshaun Prince was impressed. "Over the last three games, Greg has done a great job coming out and starting us off in the first couple minutes of the third quarter, getting some rebounds on both ends," said Prince. "Young fella's been playing great for us."
  • Yahoo! Sports believes the New Jersey Nets are losing face in their pursuit of Carmelo Anthony. "The Nets are behaving in a most desperate way and trying too hard to validate Prokhorov’s relevance in the sport. Anthony treats the Nets like the unattractive girl he refuses to tell his friends he’s seeing on the side. She walks past in the lunch room, tosses him a smile and ’Melo tells his friends he hasn’t an idea why she keeps doing that."
Posted on: January 17, 2011 6:28 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2011 6:34 pm
 

Blake Griffin's 47 points sets NBA season record

Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin set an NBA season record with 47 points against the Indiana Pacers. Posted by Ben Golliver.

blake-griffin-pacers
Blake Griffin left the Los Angeles Lakers fighting mad on Sunday night, but on Monday the Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward rendered the Indiana Pacers utterly defenseless, pouring in an NBA season-high 47 points to go along with 14 rebounds, three assists and a block in 37 minutes.

Griffin shot an astonishing 19-24 from the field and got his buckets in every conceivable fashion, banking in jumpers, bulldozing his way into the paint, showing a soft touch on the glass, making nine of his 11 attempts from the charity stripe and just relentlessly punishing poor Jeff Foster and James Posey, who were powerless to stop his offensive assault.

No player has scored 47 or more points in an NBA regular season game since Vince Carter, then of the Orlando Magic, scored 48 points against the New Orleans Hornets on Feb. 8, 2010. Incredibly, it's the most points scored by a power forward or center dating back to Nov. 5, 2008, when Amar'e Stoudemire scored 49 points against the Indiana Pacers.

For Griffin, the performance will serve as the centerpiece for his All-Star candidacy which, honestly, shouldn't be in question. Griffin has increased his scoring, rebounding and assist numbers each month this season and is currently averaging an absurd 24.3 points, 14.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists in January. Check out this table of his monthly splits, courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com. (Note: numbers do not include Monday's performance.)

blake-griffin-splits

Thanks largely to Griffin's increasing output, the Clippers as a whole are playing steadily better too, on pace to make January their first winning month of the season.
Posted on: January 17, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2011 12:45 pm
 

Game Changer: Clippers top Lakers in LA

The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the battle for LA and the San Antonio Spurs easily handled the Denver Nuggets at home. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer. 

THE BIG ONE: YOU WILL BEND TO Blake Griffin 

Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin is not only phenomenally athletic, he plays the role of "rookie that doesn't care about your veteran way of doing things" absolutely perfectly. 

Griffin's Clippers defeated the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, and while it certainly wasn't Griffin's most efficient night, he left his stamp on the game in the closing seconds.

With a comfortable lead and the win virtually secured, Griffin continued to battle hard underneath the glass during a free throw attempt, prompting Lakers forward Lamar Odom to swing him by the jersey for his perceived unnecessary hustle and physical play. The two forwards had a staredown which resulted in four players being ejected (video here) and the Lakers left a little salty at Griffin's lack of decorum in a situation that happens hundreds of times over a long NBA career.

Will Griffin still chase every rebounding attempt with absolute ferocity when he's Odom's age? Possibly not, but it's not out of the question. Sunday's exchange was simply proof that when it comes to "motor" -- that all-purpose scouting term that combines hustle, energy level, activity and desire -- Griffin, even as a rookie, rocks the most cylinders and has the most horsepower. 

Not only does he go hard, though, Griffin has shown in recent games that, despite being soft-spoken and even-keeled off the court, he excels in the macho on-court NBA climate of punking and trashtalking. He's been delivering stares after dunks for months now, but his success as a rookie has made him a target of mental attacks from his opponents. Against the Miami Heat last week, Griffin responded to some trash-talking by throwing down a ridiculous double-pump dunk and then letting the Heat know about it. Here, against the Lakers, Griffin holds his ground as his teammates comically come to his defense, as if anyone was really going to mess with Griffin one-on-one, face-to-face.  

Griffin is still finding his way in the league, as demonstrated by Portland Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller body-slamming him in retaliation for some rebounding skirmishes. But Griffin's message to the rest of the NBA has become clear and consistent: you guys will adjust to me and my talent, not the other way around. 

So far it's working out pretty well for him.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:


Tony Parker: 30 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals on 11-15 shooting in 32 minutes in a San Antonio Spurs home victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Blake Griffin: 18 points, 15 rebounds, three assists in 38 minutes in a Los Angeles Clippers home victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Andrew Bynum: 18 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks on 7-11 shooting in 32 minutes in a Los Angeles Lakers road victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

DON'T MISS:

WHIMSY:

Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan serves as a spotter as his teammate does a pre-game handstand.   clippers-handstand

HIGHLIGHT REEL PART ONE:

J.R. Smith is the best in-game dunker in the NBA (only LeBron James comes close). One of the reasons why: Smith doesn't care at all about time/score situations. Even in blowouts, he's looking to put you on a poster. Here, down big against the San Antonio Spurs, Smith rises up and over Spurs big man Tiago Splitter for a nasty one-handed dunk.


HIGHLIGHT REEL PART TWO:

Here's Splitter's attempt at revenge, a two-handed dunk in transition that was completely unnecessary because the clock was set to run out. Splitter violated the NBA rule of "no unnecessary shooting if the opposition agrees not to foul or play defense" and karma got the best of him. Splitter went crashing to the floor after the uncontested dunk attempt, landing hard on his backside. The good news: no injury was sustained during the course of this blooper.


FINAL THOUGHT:

The Carmelo Anthony saga is driving everyone a little nuts, but leave it to his Nuggets teammate J.R. Smith to find a funny side. Quoted by NBA.com, Smith said the Nuggets give Anthony some grief: "We ask him, 'What are you gonna look like in a Nets uniform?,' How cold it's going to be out there. What (city) he's gonna end up in? He could be playing for some team in Alaska."
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com