The Clippers are rolling with the punches, kicking arse and taking names, flowing with the blows, leaving everything on the floor and other clichés. As a result, the interwebs are gushing over Blake Griffin— as they should be.
- Over at Sports Illustrated, friend of the program and resident fifth Beatle Rob Mahoney shares his thoughts on the ascent of the “frustratingly good Blake Griffin.“
In a league loaded with jaw-dropping athletes and sharp defenders, the 24-year-old Griffin renders most of those who line up against him helpless, victim to a combination of skills and attributes that make direct matchups almost impossible. In the past, opponents could give Griffin room when not around the basket, encouraging him to take a lower-percentage jumper and helping counter his quick first step. Phoenix did so in spots on Monday, but Griffin spoiled the strategy by making 8-for-8 from outside the paint. That’s an uncharacteristic boon, but overall Griffin is shooting 41 percent from the four mid-range zones (all except the right wing) where he attempts shots regularly — a respectable mark on par with that of LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and Marc Gasol.
- Danny Chau, in a piece for Grantland, chronicles the sensation of watching Blake Griffin obliterate the Suns on Monday and restates some hefty comparisons.
My mind wandered as he made eight of his nine shots in the first quarter. I snapped back into focus when I looked up at the scoreboard and realized that Griffin himself only trailed the Suns by one point after the first quarter. It was the kind of performance that compels you to reevaluate the limits you might’ve foreseen in his growth. The better Griffin gets — and he is already really, really good — the easier it is to project upon him familiar notions of greatness.
- Hardwood Paroxysm‘s Scott Rafferty details the symphonic authority Blake Griffin takes in transition, where the Clippers dominate their foes.
While it looks like a routine play, that just speaks volumes of how we are numb to what Griffin does on a basketball court now. It’s not often that you see a 6-foot-10, 251-pound power forward get a rebound, beat everyone down the court and score a basket within five seconds of a new shot-clock, which is why it’s so effective – defenses aren’t used to stopping that play.
- Hickory High: Four-score and 87 years ago (the beginning of this season), Ian Levy made a list of ridiculously fun player/music video mashups he’d like to see. Naturally, a monster was born. Watch DeAndre Jordan dunk and block shots with Van Halen in the background. Seriously. Also at Hickory High, our very own Seth Partnow contrasts DeMarcus Cousins’ inconsistency against top competition with Blake Griffin’s relative stability.
- More Grantland. In today’s Shootaround, Chris Ryan meditates on the Clippers’ playoff chances, Steve McPherson gushes over Griffin’s new nickname and Danny Chau talks Danny Granger.
Good nicknames are the result of observation, thoughtful consideration, drafting, and redrafting. They look spontaneous, but are in reality things built from pieces, just like any other thing. This is why “The Flying Lion” is such a damn brilliant nickname for Blake Griffin.