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.
No 2016 top-10 draft pick start his team’s first game. How does that compare historically?
The top 10 of 2016 NBA draft class isn’t off to a fast start.
In fact, no top-10 pick started his team’s first game after being drafted for just the second time on record. The only other time it happened since 1983, as far back as Basketball-Reference.com records go, was 2013.
No. 11 pick Michael Carter-Williams was the only 2013 draft pick to start his team’s first game in 2013. So, at least the class of 2016 has a leg up on that class, which was led by No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett.
Here’s each first-round pick since 1983 to start his team’s first game since being drafted. Top-10 picks are in blue, and all other first-rounders are in orange.
To some degree, this year’s state of affairs is understandable. Simmons was a lock to start before he got injured. Two playoffs teams – Celtics (who took Jaylen Brown No. 3) and Raptors (who took Jacob Poeltl No. 9) – drafted in the top 10 due to trades.
But the effect is clear. This draft class seems underwhelming.
LeBron James hasn’t been happy that Tristan Thompson is dating drama magnet Khloe Kardashian, and we hear that the teammates had a locker room showdown before the Cavs’ home opener game.
“Tristan isn’t taking any crap from his teammates anymore. As far as he’s concerned, Khloe’s coming to every damn game she chooses,” the insider reveals. “Tristan told LeBron straight up before last night’s game that Khloe was coming and that was that.”
There’s nothing wrong with LeBron, as a friend, advising Thompson about his personal life. They share an agent, Rich Paul, and that obviously means a lot to LeBron.
But at a certain point, LeBron should back off. Neither coworkers nor friends have a right to determine who someone dates.