Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Legend of Blake Griffin Continues

On MLK day, Blake Griffin might have turned in his greatest performance as a professional.  Griffin scored a career-high 47 points, and 14 rebounds in a 114-107 win over the Indiana Pacers.  As Blake's game continues to improve, the Clippers are actually winning games.  Most impressive about his performance, was that Griffin was knocking jump shots.  He was draining 15 foot jumpers with consistency, and he also went 9-11 from the free throw line.

However, Griffin had a run-in with Lakers forward Lamar Odom, that made the headlines this week.  The Clippers led the Lakers by 9, with about 30 seconds in the game.  Clippers guard Randy Foye attempted a free throw, and the conflict began.  Blake Griffin put his back into Lamar Odom, attempting to gain position for a rebound.  Odom took offense to Griffin's tenacity, and shoved him.  The following events led to Griffin and Odom being ejected.  Clippers guard Baron Davis and Lakers forward Ron Artest were also ejected.  Perhaps the most interesting thing that came out of this conflict, is the quote that Lamar Odom gave after the incident.

"Maybe I overreacted, but I just feel like if you're up 9, a ram in the back at that point?  Any other time, I get it.  You play hard, you're strong, whatever, but the ram in the back (while) up 9?  I don't get it, so I'm just going to have to react," Odom said after Sunday's game.

So let me get this straight Lamar, Blake is still working his ass off until the final whistle, and you have a problem with this.  We all know that Lamar has a reputation for disappearing for stretches, so naturally, he would have a problem with a guy giving the game everything he gets.

How often do we as sports fans hear the same, tired cliche from coaches:  "We need to play a full game, and not take plays and stretches off."

In my opinion, it is remarkably refreshing that a young player like Griffin plays the game the way it should be.  Despite the incredible talent this young man possesses, he works remarkably hard, and simply doesn't take plays off.  Teams are starting to get chippy and more physical with Blake, but with the intelligence, skill and determination that he has, he will only continue his assault on post players everywhere.

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