Los Angeles Clipper

Andre Miller calls league “soft” after suspension

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Andre Miller did not play Tuesday night for the Portland Trail Blazers — the first time in 632 regular season games, or since the Matrix Reloaded.

The reason is a blindside check on Blake Griffin. If he could have, he would have had his stick up on that one and slammed him into the boards. The two had been pushing and Miller had the last word, which the league didn’t like. Watch the video.

Miller was ticked about losing his streak and the circumstances, and went off to the Columbian.

“(The Streak) means a lot. Obviously it doesn’t mean anything to the league. I take pride in it. I did what I did. I didn’t it think it was something that ruled a suspension. I’ll get the opportunity to it again definitely.”

His reaction to the suspension: “I was surprised. I actually wasn’t even notified. I found out toward the evening when I was sleeping that there would be a suspension. It just shows you how soft the league has gotten, protecting young players. It’s not like it was when I came in this league.”

On whether he thinks the collision will trigger referees to watch Blake Griffin more closely: “No, not really, because he’s going to get away with it. I don’t have nothing against him being an aggressive big man. I don’t think I would have been suspended if there was a flagrant foul called on the court. Camby whacked someone in the face and he didn’t get suspended. The rules don’t apply to everyone.”

Miller apparently enjoys writing checks to the league, because he almost certainly will for that. And by the way, the suspension was warranted, yes there had been pushing but that was a cheap shot when Griffin wasn’t looking.

Pistons would “strongly consider” trading Rip Hamilton for Josh Smith. Ya think?

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The Detroit Pistons have not looked good. At all. They are 0-4 and sniping at each other and the coach already.

Things are going to change in Detroit. One way or another (especially with the coming ownership change) — either there will be a lot more wins or a roster shakeup.

Now enter all the speculation that the Hawks paying for Al Horford and overpaying for Joe Johnson and they are going to have to move someone. Someone like Josh Smith.

Combine all that and you have the Detroit Free Press report today that the Pistons would have interest in Josh Smith.

When the (Pistons team) sale becomes official, the Pistons would seriously consider a Hamilton-for-Smith swap as it appears Hamilton needs a change of scenery.

Ya think? I bet the Hawks also would seriously consider trading Marvin Williams for Kevin Durant, too. Or Jeff Teague for John Wall. All three of those things are just about as likely to happen — no way the Pistons give up Smith for Hamilton.

Which the Freep article points out. It also says the Pistons have some interest in Clippers center Chris Kaman, but that would assume that he is on the market. Or that anyone understands what is going on with the Clippers.

As no games have been played, Clippers still very optimistic. Especially about Blake Griffin.

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Thumbnail image for bgriffin_suit.jpgOn paper, the Clippers are a good team.

All of us not named Clipper Daryl are tempered in our enthusiasm, based on history. And a deep Western conference. But you can see why there would be optimism, we just need to see it on the court.

Craig Smith has seen that optimism on the court, and it is named Blake Griffin, as he told the Los Angeles Times.

Smith was asked if Griffin was 98.9% back after having missed all of last season because of a stress fracture in his left kneecap.

“159.7531 percent,” he said, smiling. “Blake’s looking real good. He’s determined. I’m happy for him. Happy he’s back on the court. You know he’s going to do some special things this year…

“I can say this. I never played against Karl Malone,” Smith said. “But he has the strength of Karl Malone but can run and jump like LeBron James.

“He can definitely make LeBron plays, defensively. Out in the open, he can make something special happen. He’s kind of like a specialist. He has the best of both worlds. The physical strength, the power and he can run like a deer.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he was running a 40-yard dash with a car in the way, if he wouldn’t hurt the car versus hurting himself.”

Remember that in a draft that gave us Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings and Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin was the sure thing first pick. Hands down the best player in that class. We just forget because we didn’t watch him play, but this year we will and things should be different.

But it’s the Clippers, we need to see it on the court.