Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Blake Flips The Script

Look Upon Ye Works
So tonight in Houston, the road Clippers had every reason to just lay down and lose Game One. They were going against a massively rested home team, without point guard / savior Chris Paul. They were starting the coach's kid, Austin Rivers, and everyone who has ever seen abusive Little League games knows this never works. Houston came out with Dwight Howard getting all kinds of beastly play, the crowd was into it, and it looked like a simple home win was coming. 25-19 Rockets after one, Rivers looked hopeless, and if you wanted to start checking in on Paul's status for stealing Game Two, you weren't alone.

Then Blake Griffin decided to be the best player on the floor. Which he was to the tune of 26/14/13 (!), and honestly, he might have been better than that.

A small word about Griffin: I've never been that big of a fan of his game. For all of his physical gifts, he settles for the mid-range jumper too much, and his past rebounding and blocked shot numbers have whispered that the big ups and rampant TV commercials weren't warranted. Sure, he's funny on the mic and can dunk through the building, but he seemed to come up small in the playoffs, and I like my 4 to be a double-double machine. And if he can jump like that on offense, why not on defense?

Well, in this game, just like in Game 7 against the Spurs, Griffin took his talents and added an equivalent amount of production. The mid-range jumper was still there, but he was nailing it. He ran the break like a runaway beer truck, kept his head when the stupid incessant fouling made the game unwatchable, got vocal when needed, and so on, and so on.

Now, to be clear? Houston played a bad game. They looked rusty and overconfident against a Paul-free opponent, and any team that's relying on Ancient Jason Terry and Loco Josh Smith can stink up the joint at any moment. I still think Houston should win this series, because they've got the guy that *should* be the best player on the floor in James Harden, and it's impossible for me to see a team with the Clipper bench players succeed at the highest level.

But if Griffin wants to keep messing around and getting triple doubles?

Well, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

And it's not as if Houston has a guy that seems physical or emotionally capable of guarding him...

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