Blake Griffin dunks on a lot of teams. Of course, it’s easy to say a lot of teams don’t have Dwight Howard protecting the rim and the Lakers shouldn’t allow this. The problem for the Lakers is their perimeter defense is so poor Howard is often trying to stop the guard driving in for a layup and the rotations to help him are often slow if they come at all. Whatever the reasons, we saw plenty of Griffin dunking on the Lakers Sunday.
The dunk above was a transition play for the Clippers where Griffin has the time in the air to change his mind and go from layup to dunk.
Below, that is a pick-and-roll with Chris Paul that illustrates the Lakers defensive woes. Paul comes off the pick and Pau Gasol does a good job switching and taking away his driving lane, forcing a midrange pull up over Gasol’s long arms that rims out. But that means Kobe Bryant is on Griffin and outside trying to draw a foul out high he doesn’t slow him at all. Howard does his job and has a body on his man While Steve Blake is in a no man’s land, not on his guy at the arc or taking away Griffin’s path. The result is a monster put back.
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It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.