- Blake Griffin produced one of the highlights of the young season with a monster dunk over Rudy Gobert.
- Despite concerns about his durability, Griffin has the Clippers off to an excellent start to the year.
- The team has also been anchored by some of its offseason acquisitions, including lockdown defender Patrick Beverley.
We’re only three games into the 2017-18 NBA season, but Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin has already found his rhythm around the rim.
The Clippers were trailing the Utah Jazz midway through the first quarter on Tuesday night when Griffin got the ball at the three-point line. The big man surveyed his options, navigated around Ricky Rubio, and produced an incredibly powerful one-handed dunk, posterizing Jazz center Rudy Gobert in the process.
Check it out:
It was a vintage moment that showed all the best sides of Griffin’s game, combining offensive creativity with sheer athleticism. The fact that he did it over Gobert, known as one of the game’s top rim protectors, made it all the more impressive.
Griffin has always had the ability to create monster dunks, but last night’s may have been especially exciting for Clippers fans. The Oklahoma product has played in just 99 games since the start of the 2015-16 season, reviving old questions about his durability. He also signed a five-year, $US173 million extension with the Clippers over the summer, making the stakes especially high.
But so far, any concerns appear to have been unwarranted. Griffin is off to a great start, averaging 9.7 rebounds and 26.7 points per game on 50.9 per cent shooting, including 44.4 per cent from three-point territory. His box plus-minus of 10.4 is one of the best in the game.
Strong performances from some of the Clippers’ new players, acquired to replace the likes of Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, and Jamal Crawford, have also been encouraging. Point guard Patrick Beverley got a lot of attention for shutting down Lonzo Ball in the season opener, but he’s also been solid on offence, averaging nearly 15 points per night. Elsewhere in the rotation, Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams have shown they’re capable of supporting Griffin’s scoring efforts.
Add it up and the Clippers are 3-0, one of just four teams to remain undefeated heading into the second week of the season. They may have a new look, but what’s left of Lob City appears to be as viable as ever in today’s NBA.
The Clippers will play their next game on Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
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