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.
Mavericks sign Ben Bentil to fill spot following roster shuffle
DALLAS (AP) The Dallas Mavericks have signed rookie forward Ben Bentil to a 10-day contract to fill one of the two spots from a roster shake-up that came at the trading deadline.
The addition of Bentil on Sunday puts the Ghana native in position to make his NBA debut. The former Providence player was drafted in the second round by Boston but was waived during the preseason.
Bentil has played in the NBA Development League and in China since the Celtics let him go. He played 13 games in two stints with Fort Wayne in the D-League, interrupted by an 11-game stint with Xinjiang in China.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been fined $25,000 for making contact with an official during the third quarter of Friday’s game between the Jazz and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The incident occured with 5:19 left in the third after a drive to the bucket by Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks star was driving past Jazz wing Joe Johnson, who fouled Antetokounmpo as he went up with a shot over Gobert in the paint.
A foul was whistled on Johnson, but it appeared that Gobert thought the call was initially on him despite his up-and-down contest.
That sent Gobert flying after the official, where he made slight contact, earning him an immediate technical foul.
Video of the incident was released by the NBA and can be viewed here.
Vlade Divac on DeMarcus Cousins trade: “If I’m wrong I’ll step down”
Vlade Divac has started the clock on his own success or failure as an NBA GM with the Sacramento Kings. Speaking with the Sacramento Bee this week in a long Q & A, Divac said that if the DeMarcus Cousins trade hasn’t put the Kings in a better position in two years he will step down.
Q: Well, the pressure is on you now. It’s pretty clear that Divac, not Ranadive, is making the personnel decisions. Some people still can’t believe Ranadive actually stepped aside and allowed you to trade his favorite player.
A: That’s my job, and I take responsibility. And I totally understand why some fans would be upset. They supported DeMarcus, and I like DeMarcus a lot. But I believe we are going to be in a better position in two years. I want to hear again from these same people in two years. If I’m right, great. If I’m wrong, I’ll step down. But if I go down, I’m going down my way.
Divac also mentioned that he approached Cousins’ management team about anger therapy, and again harped on the move as being the right thing for the “culture” he wants to build in Sacramento.