Tag: Blake Griffin

Los Angeles Clippers v New Orleans Pelicans

Clippers J.J. Redick out with back spasms, will not return “until he’s right”


The Los Angeles Clippers run six deep — when any combination of Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are on the floor, the Clippers play like contenders. Their starting five is +16.1 per 100 possessions, swap in Crawford for Redick and it jumps to +21.3 per 100. However, get beyond that six and things go south fast.

Which is why losing Redick for a while could be trouble for Los Angeles.

Redick came out of the Clippers road loss to the Nets Monday with back spasms and he’s going to miss some time, reports Arash Markazi of ESPN.

Redick hurt his back on the final play of last Monday’s game against the Denver Nuggets and missed Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz with back spasms. He returned and started the Clippers’ previous two games against the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs before being pulled early against Brooklyn.

“It’s just spasms,” (Clippers coach Doc) Rivers said. “I think it’s from that hit [against Denver]. He probably shouldn’t have played, who knows, but we’re just going to rest him until he’s right.”

If Redick misses several weeks he could be out of the All-Star Saturday Three-Point Contest, which would be too bad because that is a stacked field and probably the most intriguing event all that weekend.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $225,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday’s NBA games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts at7pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Redick’s three-point shooting — he is hitting 43.2 percent from deep and scoring 14.4 a night — is a key to the Clippers spacing, creating lanes for CP3 or space inside for Griffin. Plus Rivers loves to run Redick off multiple screens to free him (think how he used Ray Allen in Boston at times). The Clippers’ offense is 9.2 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the floor compared to off it (the defense doesn’t change much). They will miss him when he’s out.

His absence will simply lead to more inconsistency from what is already the most inconsistent good team in the league. The Clippers are out on their Grammy road trip and have lived up to their roller coaster reputation, beating the Spurs on Saturday then losing to the Nets on Monday (a Brooklyn team they beat by 39 just a few games ago).

Why does Blake Griffin dunk less? Fatigue

Aron Baynes, Jeff Ayres, Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin shoots better, dribbles better and passes better.

Without question, the Clippers forward is more skilled than his first few NBA seasons.

But I’m not sure he’s more productive.

Griffin’s ability to get dunks – the highest-percentage shot in basketball – should not be underappreciated. Though many put more stock in a player having a wider arsenal of skills, there’s much to be said for perfecting the fewer skills that matter most. Every time Griffin shoots a mid-range jumper or drives and kicks to a teammate, he’s bypassing a potential dunk opportunity.

Sure, sometimes dunks aren’t available, and Griffin’s ability to make other plays is helpful. But has he gone too far with those other plays? His dunks are way down this season:


This trend is not because defenses are taking away his dunks. Griffin has chose to play a different style.


Griffin in The Players Tribune:

My first few years in the league, I was relying on my athleticism to get me by, because that’s what got me to the NBA. The problem with that is, you end up getting really, really tired by February. My rookie year I tried to get out of bed on a road trip near the end of the season and I was like, Am I physically able to walk right now? I went out on the floor that night and ran up and down just trying to look like a real NBA human.

To Griffin’s credit, he worked hard to adjust after that realization – and it’s paying off. He’s making 41 percent of his 2-pointers beyond 16 feet and 38 percent of his 3-pointers, both career highs.

He even made this game-winning 3-pointer against the Suns:



When I got home from the game that night after hitting the buzzer-beater, I was pacing around my house like a crazy person. I tried to go to sleep around 1:30 in the morning and I spent 20 minutes laying there staring at the ceiling before I was like, Welp, this is not happening. My adrenaline was still jacked. I watched TV for a while and I don’t think I nodded off completely until around around 5 a.m.

When I was staring up at the ceiling, my mind kept switching between sinking the shot and something else. Something more painful. Something that happened three years ago in Golden State.



This is the story of a player motivated by his critics to improve his shortcomings. It might be the best Players Tribune article yet and is worth a read.

I still question whether these changes actually help the Clippers or whether they just divert Griffin from his best skills, but that question might not matter. If Griffin plays better late in the season because he’s less tired, that could justify the change.

If he plays better in the playoffs – maybe even dunking more after a season of saving his legs – and leads the Clippers deep into the postseason, there’d be no question.

Anthony Davis out Friday night vs. Clippers due to abdominal strain

Anthony Davis
1 Comment

The Pelicans are being cautious here. As they should be — this is the future of the franchise we are talking about.

Anthony Davis will not play Friday night when the Pelicans host the Los Angeles Clippers, reports John Reid of the Times-Picayune.

Davis officially has a Grade 1 abductor strain. Which is not pleasant. But compared to what it looked like when he was injured and had to be helped off the court following what appeared to be a serious right leg injury this is nothing. The injury was scary looking, but within 15 minutes he back on the court. Much to the relief of New Orleans fans.

While the Pelicans — just 2.5 games out of the playoffs in the West — will miss Davis and his 24.4 points and 10.4 rebounds a game, not to mention his defense against Blake Griffin, this is the right move. Davis is going to finish in the Top 5 in MVP voting during his third year in the league.

This is a relatively minor injury that should not impact him playing in the All-Star Game Feb. 15, where the fans voted him in as a starter.

James Harden, three Hawks players lead list of NBA All-Star Game reserves

Houston Rockets v Phoenix Suns

The coaches made good choices.

The problem is, you can also make a case for almost another team of guys left off.

The NBA All-Star Game reserves were officially announced Thursday night. The starters were voted in by the fans and announced a week ago, then this past week the coaches around the league filled out the rosters.

Here’s who they selected:

Eastern Conference

• Jeff Teague (Atlanta Hawks)
• Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls)
• Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
• Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)
• Paul Millsap (Atlanta Hawks)
• Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)
• Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks)

(Starters: John Wall, Kyle Lowry, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol)

Western Conference

• James Harden (Houston Rockets)
• Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
• Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
• Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
• Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
• Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
• LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers)

(Starters: Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol)

There are going to be changes to the rosters in each conference — both Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade are out injured, Kobe certainly will not play and Wade is not expected to.

Meaning at least a couple of the deserving guys left off the roster will get on. (NBA Commissioner Adam Silver picks the replacements, in the case of the West it will be up to coach Steve Kerry to decide who will take Kobe’s starter spot.)

And there are a lot of deserving guys left off these lists.

Starting with DeMarcus Cousins — averaging 23.8 points and 12.3 rebounds a game — and Damian Lillarrd out West. Lillard is averaging 21.7 points and 6.1 rebounds a game. Both of these guys deserved to make the team (both were among my picks) and only one will.

Other deserving guys left off in the West are Mike Conley and Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies, Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets, Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns. And that list could go on and on.

In the Eastern Conference, if I had to best who gets Wade’s spot, watch out for Kyle Korver of the Hawks. That would mean four Hawks, which seems fair for the best team in the conference. Other guys who out East who missed out include Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Brandon Knight of the Bucks, and Andre Drummond of the Pistons. Again, there are others who could stake a claim as well.

Doc Rivers calling Western Conference coaches to pitch Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan as All-Stars

The CP3 Foundation's Celebrity Server Dinner, Presented By Apollo Jets

What would have not long ago seemed inconceivable, the Clippers have the Western Conference’s longest active streak of years with multiple All-Stars – three. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul have made it each of the previous three seasons.

So far, the only Clipper All-Star this year is Griffin, whom fans elected him a starter.

Doc Rivers isn’t leaving the rest to chance. He’s advocating on behalf of Chris Paul – and DeAndre Jordan.

Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times:

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he’s been making some phone calls to try to get the coaches to vote those guys in as reserves.

When asked how those conversations go, Rivers smiled.

“Well, there’s some begging,” he said. “I offer them food, drinks and all of that kind of stuff.”

I’m not with Charles Barkley on this one. Paul should be an All-Star.

Jordan is having a solid season, and he also deserves consideration, but that should end with him clearly being left off ballots. This Western Conference is far too deep for him to have a realistic case.

Rivers lobbied for Jordan last year, and that didn’t get the center on the All-Star team. That doesn’t mean Rivers failed. He likely succeeded in boosting Jordan’s confidence and loyalty to his coach.

But the stakes are different this year with Paul on the border of inclusion. Paul is competing with James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson and Mike Conley for just two to four reserve guard spots behind Stephen Curry. An additional guard could be added to the roster as Kobe Bryant’s injury replacement.

Spending time on Jordan’s merits with other coaches would only diminish Rivers’ credibility on Paul.

Rivers is a heck of a coach. His negotiating skills remain questionable.