Blake Griffin was dunking all over Phoenix Thursday (VIDEO)

10 Comments

Dunks don’t equal wins — the Phoenix Suns moved to 2-0 under Lindsey Hunter with one of their best games of the year beating the Clippers Thursday night on national television.

But the Blake Griffin aerial show was in full effect in Phoenix. Personally, the second one of those is the only classic Griffin power dunk, but the other two are not bad. Griffin was relatively quiet in the game — 12 points of 5-of-9 shooting.

And now for my usual disclaimer: If you’re going to say “but three of his five makes were just dunks” I’m going to say “so what?” Last time I checked dunks count and are the most efficient shot in the game. Griffin has a good post game now, he’s working on the midrange which has improved, and he’s only in his third NBA season at age 23. I don’t expect him to be Pau Gasol with an arsenal of moves — play to your strengths, and if your strengths are you are one of the most athletic big men in the game then throw down some monster dunks and get your points that way. If you can get six to 10 points a night on dunks, there isn’t a coach in the league that will not take it.

Video Breakdown: Clippers use JJ Redick in split cut to fool Jazz at 3-point line

Leave a comment

The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.

One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.

We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.

Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.

If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.

For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.

John Wall wears cape to postgame press conference (video)

1 Comment

John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.

Did you see Isaiah Thomas carry in Game 5? ‘No,’ says Fred Hoiberg, who walks off (video)

Leave a comment

Fred Hoiberg opened himself to clowning by complaining about Isaiah Thomas carrying.

So, the Bulls coach got clowned after the Celtics’ Game 5 win.

Jae Crowder leg-locks Robin Lopez (video)

1 Comment

Late in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Bulls last night, Jae Crowder leg-locked Robin Lopez – the same dirty play that caused rancor for Matthew Dellavedova in the 2015 playoffs.

Lopez blocked Crowder’s shot, but the ball went to Al Horford, who attacked the basket. As Lopez tried to rotate to contest another shot, he couldn’t move. Crowder, who’d fallen to the floor, had him in a leg-lock. Lopez freed himself just in time to foul Horford.

Adding insult to avoided injury, Lopez got hit with a technical foul for complaining about the no-call.

I bet the league issues a technical foul on Crowder, too.