You remember how people started complained these past couple of years about how Blake Griffin doesn’t Mozgov anyone anymore, because he’s too interested in stuff like “expanding his game” and “becoming a quality 3-point shooter and elite point-power-forward” and “trying to fit in between a domineering point guard and a paint-bound pick-and-roll-diving center?” Well, it sure looks like Griffin remembers, and like he’s intent on making sure we’ve got nothing to complain about on that front this season.
Less than a week after punching one directly in the mug of Julius Randle in the Los Angeles Clippers’ opening-week pulverizing of the Los Angeles Lakers, Griffin was at it again on Tuesday — and this time, against the Utah Jazz, he went big-game hunting.
After setting a high screen for Patrick Beverley midway through the first quarter, triggering a switch that drew a mismatch against point guard Ricky Rubio, Griffin began backing the smaller man down. Then he turned the corner, hit the gas, elevated and absolutely hammered one on Defensive Player of the Year runner-up and shot-swatter extraordinaire Rudy Gobert.
Blake knew exactly had nasty that one looked:
And so did DeAndre Jordan:
You have two options: Get out of the way or get baptized. pic.twitter.com/EwD4bM09aK
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) October 25, 2017
I hear you, Jazz fans: “That should have been an offensive foul! Why does Blake get to get away with leading with his forearm like that?” This has come up before; I don’t even necessarily disagree with you!
And yet, the call wasn’t made, and the play did stand, and so we are left to respond to the moment as it existed. Your responses may have varied; mine was, “Holy s***, dude.”
Late in the second quarter, Gobert got the opportunity to offer his response to Griffin. It was to the point, and pretty forceful in its own right:
Reasonable people can disagree over which dunk was better. (They shouldn’t — it was Blake’s — but they can!) Whichever side of the fence you come down on, though, I think we can all agree that in an early season marred by injuries and weirdness, more big loud posterizing dunks are always appreciated.
– – – – – – –