Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors

Video: Was Blake Griffin’s takedown of Luke Ridnour dirty?


Blake Griffin is a chippy player.

Which he needs to be — he’s a big man who is physical and other teams respond with physicality. If he didn’t push back and hold his ground (both physically and in terms of intimidation) he’d be swept aside. But there is a line there with being chippy and dirty and there are times Griffin rides right along it.

Like Monday night and the play above. Griffin was on a fast break with Chris Paul and was expecting another poster dunk but Luke Ridnour made the veteran play, got back and broke up the pass — then Griffin grabbed him and pulled him to the ground under him.

Griffin got a technical and deserved it — that was a frustration/intimidation foul that could have left Ridnour with a serious injury. This is not suspension worthy, but if the league threw a fine at Griffin I’d be good with that.

By the way, Minnesota won that game 95-94 — the made technical free throw on this play was the winning margin.

Griffin has to stand his ground, but as someone who has seen him frustrated on the court before I don’t want to see him lose it and cross that line. He needs to be careful. And Blake, just between us, you can’t complain about other teams getting to be physical with you then go off and knock down a little guard, you come off poorly. Or like Kevin Garnett.

Hat tip to Eye on Basketball for the video.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.