It’s been quite a while since the last time Blake Griffin got a triple double; in fact, it’s been since his rookie season, when he got two in less than a month. This time, it wasn’t about his athleticism and showtime dunking ability that made the difference, but being a more complete player than he was last season, making the Los Angeles Clippers very happy.
Griffin finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists and the Clippers knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks with a 117-101 win, that displayed the kind of formula that shows Clippers basketball at its best – Chris Paul not being forced into leading the team while the rest are struggling; instead, Paul only needed to score 14 points and dish out 9 assists, while most of the offensive damage we saw coming from the bench.
He’s doing everything. He’s finding people, he’s making plays. He demands a lot of attention down there, so he’s getting double-teamed and kicking out to our shooters. He’s making the right play all of the time.
Jamal Crawford scored 25 points, averaging 23 since the turn of the month, and Matt Barnes added 20. The Bucks got only 24 points from their bench, but even a solid shooting night from both Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, not to mention the on again, off again Ersan Ilyasova (20 points), couldn’t really keep up with a team that ran away with the game in the final quarter by taking it up another notch, something the Bucks don’t have the ability to do, especially on defense.
And still, even with the Griffin triple double, most of the talk after the game between the Clippers was about the dunk Jamal Crawford set up for Griffin. Dunk of the season? Hard to say right now, but it’ll probably be in the top 3.
I got the best jumper in the world, so might as well get creative. Blake just took it to a whole other level. We can push that for an ESPY (award). hey would rather see Blake dunk than me any time of the day so I just have to figure out the best way to get it to him.
Griffin had a different version to tell – He didn’t even look back. He threw it a little low and it was close to the rim. It was a spur of the moment thing. Sometimes he does some things that are unbelievable. Besides all the flash, he’s been efficient for us.
The Clippers have been humbled, twice, over the last couple of weeks by the teams sitting above them in the Western standings. First it was the Spurs coming to Los Angeles and beating them 116-90, which after a few wins turned to Oklahoma City, again at home, beating the Clippers in a physical and dirty game 108-104.
The rest of the season won’t be just about positional battles in the West, as the Clippers still eye the second spot but have to watch out about Memphis, two games behind them; it’ll be about establishing the kind of ability and rhythm that gets the Clippers feeling confident about their ability to beat both the Thunder and the Spurs in a series, which looked reasonable earlier in the season, but not so much now.