Tag: Blake Griffin

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder

Chris Paul goes through shootaround, tells Matt Barnes he will play Friday


The Houston Rockets had a lot of success in the second half of Game 2 by fronting Blake Griffin in the post and having help from a big behind him. The Clippers offense froze when that happened.

Good luck doing that in Game 3 Friday night — it looks like Chris Paul is going to play.

Paul strained his hamstring in Game 7 against the Spurs but played through it in a game that will go down as part of his legacy, including hitting the game winner over Tim Duncan.

He wasn’t healthy enough to go in Game 1 against the Rockets 48 hours later, and the Clippers upset win in that game took a little pressure off Paul and the Clippers to rush him back.

Paul averaged 19.2 points, and 10.2 rebounds a game this season, shooting 39.8 percent from three, remaining one of the best defensive point guards in the league and the best floor general. He came in sixth in the recent MVP voting.

With him, in whatever condition, the Clippers are favorites in this series. But hamstrings can be tricky and can be easily aggravated and worsened.

Rumor: Blake Griffin to Trail Blazers?

Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge

Then-Clippers general manager Neil Olshey declared of Blake Griffin in 2011: “I can guarantee you he will only ever be a Clipper.”

The next year, the Clippers announced they reached “a deal in principle” to retain Olshey.

A few days later, he became the Trail Blazers’ new general manager.

Could history repeat itself with Griffin surprisingly following his old GM to Portland?

Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears on John Canzano’s Bald-Faced Truth radio show talking about the Trail Blazers:

This is a rumor. Let me say that three times. This is a rumor. This a rumor. This is a rumor.

Blake Griffin.

Obviously, there’s a connection there with the GM. And you wonder, if LaMarcus is interested in the Clippers, playing with Chris Paul. Could Neil Olshey get his old superstar with the Clippers in Portland?

I think you get to a point where – Neil is smart. You’ve got to have a come-to-Jesus meeting with LaMarcus and say, “Hey, do you really want to be here or do you think  you want to go. Because f you really want to go, help us – the same way Steve Nash helped the Suns. Don’t just walk away. Try to help out Portland in the process.”

Spears knows things, which is why we’re passing along this particular rumor. But it seems more like a Portland pipedream than a rumor.

The Trail Blazers could lose LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency this summer, and if they do, they’d surely prefer to remain a playoff team. Damian Lillard is too good to allow Portland to undergo a significant rebuild through tanking. Griffin would keep Portland in the Western Conference’s upper echelon.

But why would the Clippers deal Griffin in an Aldridge sign-and-trade? Griffin is better and younger than Aldridge and would be paid less if Aldridge signs a max contract this summer.

And why would Griffin consent? He’s under contract without a no-trade clause, so he wouldn’t have any formal power to block a trade. But his stature gives him a voice in this process, and it’s difficult to see him wanting to leave a bigger market and better team, especially given all his endorsements. Likewise, Paul has the stature to influence a decision, and he shouldn’t want the Clippers to downgrade at power forward.

Nash helped the Suns, who got two first-round picks in a sign-and-trade with the Lakers. (One of the first-rounders, the top-five protected pick now owned by the 76ers, is more valuable than Nash ever was in Los Angeles.) Aldridge might similarly try to help Portland.

But the Clippers sure don’t have any loyalty to the Trail Blazers, which makes this seem far-fetched at best.

Kevin McHale on Clippers complaining that Rockets shot too many free throws: ‘Well, quit hacking us’


Game 2 between the Rockets and the Clippers was far from an aesthetic masterpiece.

While Houston will take the result — a very necessary come-from-behind victory that evened the best-of-seven series at a game apiece — it was an ugly contest that saw the Rockets go to the free throw line an insane 64 times.

L.A. was predictably less than pleased with this aspect of the loss.

“You’re not going to win many games when the other team shoots 64 free throws and they make more free throws than we even attempted,” Blake Griffin said after Game 2.

A day later, Rockets coach Kevin McHale fired back with a somewhat expected response.

From Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

“I heard them saying, ‘Well, they shot too many free throws.’ Well, quit hacking us,” McHale said. “We shoot a lot of free throws when you decide that you’re just going to get in the penalty and start hacking everybody. You end up (with your opponent) shooting a lot of free throws when you put in your backup, backup center (Ekpe Udoh) to just grab guys.

“James (Harden) goes downhill and plays hard. There’s a lot of contact when James plays. I can show you every game, five where he clearly gets grabbed and they don’t call. But I mean, James runs downt he floor. The referees are not trying to screw anybody. It’s a hard game to referee. I’m the worst referee in practices you’ve ever seen. I never blow my whistle. It’s a tough game to call. I don’t put too much into all that.”

Harden led the league in free throw attempts during the regular season, and in fact attempted more (824) than the player who finished second was able to make (Russell Westbrook, 546).

Add in the intentional fouls, along with the way Houston plays the percentages in taking their shots almost exclusively from beyond the arc or in the paint, and McHale is right — if the Clippers want to keep Houston off of the line, they’ll simply need to do a much better job defensively.

McHale appeared on Sports Talk 790 radio in Houston and had plenty more to say on the subject.