Blake Griffin Watch: Highlights vs Suns 28/3/2012
Follow the most exciting player and team in basketball right here. Blake Griffin and the LA Clippers
In India, the match timings put this match on 29 March, but its listed as 28 March USA time.
First things first:
Three things to watch out in that:
1. Channing Frye doing his best Neo impression. On one hand he has to jump high to challenge the shot, on the other hand he realizes that he’s on the fast track to a poster, so he contorts his body away from Blake to avoid contact and being in the same company as Mozgov and Perkins.
2. Blake Griffin cracked a smile after the play.
3. This dunk was followed immediately with another on a steal by Blake to close off the third quarter.
Its tough being on the receiving end of demoralizing plays like this. You hang in all the way and towards the end of a quarter the other team/monster Blake comes up with monster plays like these.
The Clips play a lot better at home, record being 17-8 at Staples Center as hosts. The Clippers are 4th in the Western Conference with a record of 28-21. That may seem like a cushion but its not a comfortable spot to be in as the 8th and last playoff spot in the Western Conference belongs to Houston Rockets with a record of 27-24. At the start of this game the Clippers were 2 1/2 games behind the Lakers in the Western Conference standings.
The Suns man the 10th spot in the Western Conference with a 25-25 record. On paper the Clippers overwhelm the Suns, but the Clippers have lost their last four games vs the Suns, two of them coming in this season. This time around the Suns were missing centenarian Grant Hill and they ended up winning with a comfortable lead in the fourth.
One of the monster plays included a couple of and-1 plays through powerful drives at the end of the third quarter to cap off a 16-6 run, and the other through a couple of quick dunks including the highlight on top in the fourth quarter.
To end the first quarter, Blake Griffin got the ball on the elbow for an open jumper but he passed up the good look to the perimeter. The ball came right back to him like a hot potato and with the clock running down Blake hit a double clutch jumper to end the quarter. Its like if he’s pressured, he has a better chance of making the shot.
Griffin opened the fourth quarter with a jumper to bring his tally up to 21 at that point and he had those huge dunks to cap off the quarter. He finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds.
Fun fact: Blake Griffin seems to harbour a personal grudge vs the Phoenix Suns. His brother Taylor Griffin was cut by the Suns after which he went overseas to play in Belgium. Although he’s now in the NBA D-league with the Dakota Wizards, the grudge carried by Blake lingers.
Here’s what Blake did to Gortat last year:
It was 87-74 4:32 left in 4th quarter when Nick Young had an And-1 to put it away. Clippers won 103-86.
Sometimes such freakish athleticism can work against you. Look at Blake running out to hedge on a screen below. The screen’s use was faked and Blake went skidding down. He did recover super quick, another evidence of his constant hustle and another reason why I don’t want to miss any one of his games.
The LA Clippers take on the Portland Trailblazers on 31 March, in a battle of power forwards, Blake Grffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. Check back for a recap of that.