Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is a target. Don't believe me? Just watch this video of Andre Miller pancaking Griffin at full speed.
The latest incident came on Wednesday night, when Philadelphia 76ers forward Tony Battie and guard Jodie Meeks dragged Griffin down during a transition run out. Griffin received an outlet pass and was gathering to attack the basket on the run when Meeks reached back while flying by in front of him and Battie knocked him off course from behind. The double-whammy caused Griffin to spill to the ground, and Battie's momentum carried him over on top Griffin. Griffin lashed out by pushing Battie off of him and to the ground, while he also tried to untangle himself from a referee who was attempting to intervene. The sequence led to a lot of jawing between the two teams.
Here's video of the hard foul and Griffin's reaction courtesy of YouTube user nbafufu.
The Los Angeles Times notes that Battie was originally assessed a Flagrant Foul 2, which would have meant an automatic ejection, but the officials downgraded it to a Flagrant Foul 1 upon video review.
Either way, the paper noted, Griffin wasn't happy.
"I just felt like they had let things go way too much up to that point. That's what happens when you let things go when they don't call fouls and things like that happen. … And I thought it was ridiculous. So I'm not going to take that. … I've done it too much this season. It got to me."Griffin's teammate, guard Randy Foye, says Griffin has been getting extra attention from their opponents.
"He was getting hit pretty hard the whole game," Foye said. "He's frustrated. When he goes to the basket, sometimes he feels guys don't go for the ball. He thinks guys just take a whack at him just to let him know not to come down the lane. When he was taking his steps, he was ready to go off one foot. That's why I think he got so upset, and that's why I grabbed him real quick, because I could see how he got up. There was a lot of anger there. You don't want him to get suspended."Unfortunately for Griffin, when you put as many people on posters as he does, you're going to guys gunning for retribution on a nightly basis. Griffin plays hard, he plays aggressive, he plays above the rim and he's a rookie: that combination will get you every time in the NBA. Battie's play here was more awkward than malicious and it sounds like Griffin's frustration stems more from the accumulation of the attention he receives rather than that single play itself.
It takes awhile for the NBA to adjust to any rookie, but a rookie of Griffin's considerable talents makes that process take even longer. But the book is now out: rough Griffin up, it's your best chance to take him out of his game.