Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: Blake Griffin flirted with a triple-double for most of the second half, scoring 29 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out eight assists. Whenever the Clippers needed a basket to quell a Celtics rally, Griffin had the answer.
Defining moment: Griffin caught a bounce pass from Jamal Crawford, took off from behind the dotted line in the paint and Mozgovd nemesis Kris Humphries. Easily the dunk of the year.
X factor: The Clippers outscored the Celtics 24-5 in fastbreak points. Boston struggled taking care of the ball (18 turnovers), which allowed L.A. to get out in transition and incite Lob Citys usual theatrics.
— Jovan Buha
The Dunk Of The Year?
Tweet(s) of the Night
Blake just did to Kris Humphries what Kanye did to Kris Humphries' ex wife.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) January 9, 2014
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) January 9, 2014
The Depth Charge
|Byron Mullens, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Ryan Hollins, C||9||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||-11||0|
|Antawn Jamison, PF||12||0-4||0-3||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||+3||0|
ClipperBlog Live’s Best Moment
Fred, Seerat and Jovan discuss where Blake Griffin’s dunk over Kris Humphries dunk ranks in the pantheon of Griffin dunks, the possible addition of Andrew Bynum, and midseason #NBArank.
Check Your Messages
Griffin Leads The Way
Much of the conversation surrounding Chris Paul’s absence has focused on the tangible effects on Los Angeles’s win total and playoff hopes – how does Darren Collison initiate offense? Who’s the second-string ball-handler now? And so on. More than these, though, the most pressing issue on a CP-free team might be the dearth of on-court leadership in moments of distress.
Boston led 10-8 at the 7:30 mark of the first quarter, and it looked like L.A. might be in store for one of those grind-it-out games. (As it turned out, the game concluded in a bizarre, grind-worthy manner.) But the Clippers woke up, started hustling and Blake Griffin did the rest. Four minutes later, Los Angeles led 26-10; an 18-0 run. By the quarter’s end, Griffin had 11 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. He also happened to sink three of his four free-throws, matching his free-throw percentage since early December (76-percent). Not bad.
It was reassuring to catch a glimpse tonight of where that crucial leadership might come from: Blake Griffin, more than a dunk artist, the only other player on the team capable of affecting a game in every facet.
– Luke Laubhan
Give Blake Griffin The Ball
Blake Griffin was astronomical tonight— from the post, from the perimeter, in transition and outside while walking his dog and talking to fans before the game. Griffin scored 29 points on 14 shots, indicative of the fact that he drew a foul or scored nearly every time he touched the basketball. But, too often, the Clippers stopped feeding Griffin in the post. Instead, they opted to pass the ball around the perimeter and jack up a contested jumpers as if they were some unbearable college team.
With Chris Paul out of the lineup, the Clippers are hampered in more ways than one. Teams are no longer trapping Paul at the perimeter so in addition to the production L.A. loses from his absence, open 3-pointers have become even more of a luxury. In essence, when Griffin isn’t creating offense by other means and the Clippers aren’t making an active effort to get him involved, they’re leaving a lot to be desired in the way of consistent offense.
– Seerat Sohi
Closing Out Big
Seemed like the Clippers struggled to close out quarters tonight. The scoring disparity with DeAndre Jordan out at the end of a period:
1Q: 11-4 BOS in 2:31
2Q: 9-6 BOS in 2:49
3Q: 2-1 BOS in 0:46
4Q: 16-11 BOS in 4:52
When adding all these end-of-quarter instances together, the Clippers were outscored 38-22 in 10:58 of play. A minus-16 in almost a quarter’s worth of minutes.
Not to suggest this is all a result of DeAndre’s impact on the game — he sat the first 6:25 of the fourth quarter when a Griffin-Jamison backline outscored Boston 12-6 — but the evidence continues to mount that the defense unravels without a viable backup rim protector/rebounder on the roster.
– Andrew Han
As soon as Blake Griffin made Kanye West the happiest man in the universe, the reactions started pouring in:
Kris Humphries got Mozgoved!
He got Perkinsed!
Best Blake dunk ever!
Then we started to hear what we always do after a Timofey Mozgov or Kendrick Perkins-like dunk. Was it a dunk if Blake threw it into the hoop without actually touching the rim?
That’s the first thing so many many people pointed out, and it’s the last thing they’ll remember about the NBA’s best dunk of the year. In reality, who cares if it was a dunk or not? Who cares how we define a dunk? It was a tremendous play, an outrageous and almost-unrealistic display of athleticism. Why can’t we just leave it at that and appreciate one of the most exciting plays of the year?
– Fred Katz