While the New York Knicks are back to their old ways of losing while looking awful, the Los Angeles Clippers continue to enjoy the rise and improvement of Blake Griffin, adding a little bit of everything to his usual aerial performance filled with dunks and exciting moments.
The Clippers beat the Knicks 109-95 to begin a road trip that includes six games and ends on January 29 when they get back home to play the Washington Wizards. Besides the Knicks, the Pacers, Bulls and Raptors are probably where the Clippers have big circles on their calendar for the next 11 days.
Something CP always says when we are on a road trip, `Can’t win them all without winning the first. So to get the first one for us is obviously great, to get the win to start the road trip and help our mindsets for the rest of the games.
Griffin finished with 32 points and 7 rebounds, looking quite unstoppable at times with the Knicks’ defense looking as lazy as always, while the offense (34.9% from the field, 18 turnovers) didn’t exactly help them keep it a slow-paced game to avoid the Clippers running all over them.
Jamal Crawford began the day throwing up in the locker room, but ended up scoring 29 points. Crawford doesn’t always do things the right way – most of his points come off one on one dribbling and drives, but as many have mentioned about him in the past – once the first one is in, it’s very hard to get him to stop.
Griffin is scorching, no matter what’s going on around him. Of the 58 players with at least 175 field goal attempts less than 5 feet this season, Griffin ranks third behind LeBron James (78.8%) and Kevin Durant (70.9%), making 68.1% of his attempts entering Friday. Griffin was 8-of-10 (80%) from less than 5 feet and drew 3 fouls resulting in 3 point plays. This was his fifth 30-point game since Christmas, tied with LeBron James in that duration, following the even hotter Kevin Durant. He might be criticized for flopping, and seem to be in the middle of every brawl or similar occurrence with opponents, but it’s hard to deny how far he’s come these last couple of seasons.
It seems that we can’t figure it out here on our home court. But despite these last couple of games, I think we’ve got a great stretch that can work in our favor if we get some things right, adjust some things and figure it out quickly. The thing that we have to do is just, we have to fix it. You’ve got to attack the problem head on. There’s going to be no pity parties. Just got to take care of it and fix it.
The Knicks? Where to begin… Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points, but he shot 4-of-23 from the field. He was also 16-of-16 from the line, grabbing 20 rebounds, making a little bit of statistic history. The bottom line? His 17.3% from the field in the game is the worst in the shot clock era by a player who finished with at least 25 points and 20 rebounds. Numbers can’t hide the fact that they look awful once more, and that spark that helped them win a few games in a row has disappeared, making way for a one-way offense and slacking defense.