About Last Night
About Last Night: Wrath of a Griffin scorned
Blake clips former team, battle of big men, and Korver's Jekyll-Hyde moment
Matt Petersen, NBA.com
Just two offseasons ago, the LA Clippers pitched Blake Griffin as their unquestioned face of the franchise. They sold him a max contract offer based on the idea of that vision, which even included a mock jersey retirement.
The ink was hardly dry on Griffin’s new contract before they dealt him to Detroit at midseason, pivoting to the nebulous world between contending and rebuilding.
The five-time All-Star hasn’t forgotten — unless you believe the 44 points in his first game as a Clippers opponent at Staples Center were merely coincidental.
Meanwhile, the Clipper faithful were forcefully reminded of their best homegrown star during the franchise’s LA era. The post moves. The improved jumper. And yes, the dunks.
If those players or Detroit’s 109-104 win weren’t enough, Griffin might have sent a non-basketball message to the owner that ultimately signed off on his departure. Steve Ballmer was there and waiting for his former star to finish pregame warmups. Despite an extended hand and a verbal address, Ballmer was rewarded only with the sight of Griffin running off in the opposite direction.
The Pistons forward denied the slight was intentional after the game — only to like a tweet that seemed to indicate his brush-off was calculated.
Blake’s last like 🧐 pic.twitter.com/udD41RyVg3
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 13, 2019
Regardless, it appears the bridge between the Lob City era and one of its key members is all but severed.
Clash of the Titans
That rumbling you felt came from up north, where Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Davis waged a big man war reminiscent of the 1990s and its golden age of centers.
Towns gobbled up an NBA season best 27 rebounds to go along with 27 points in Minnesota’s 110-106 win over the Pelicans. Numbers like that have only been posted five times since 1984.
Davis was hardly a slouch, slapping up a cool 30 points and 14 rebounds. It’s the 54th time Davis has reached those numbers, tying him with Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond for 17th all-time.
Only 448 more to go to catch Wilt Chamberlain.
Who’s the real Kyle Korver?
It was a good night for the accomplishment, as it helps erase one of the most unlikely sightings in NBA history: a Kyle Korver airball.
The Jazz sharpshooter makes enough of them that we can forgive and forget that.
Boiling over in Boston
The grass is not greener in Beantown, where the Celtics suffered a disappointing 105-103 loss to the Magic. The setback comes just days after Kyrie Irving dubbed a late-December team meeting as a turning point for the team.
They might need another one after Irving’s on-court confrontation with teammate Gordon Hayward, followed by some specific postgame criticism of his younger teammates.
“The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team,” Irving said. “What it takes every day. And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we’re trying to get to the Finals?”
Assuming “young” means under 25 years old, Irving’s words apply to nine of the Celtics’ 17 rostered players.
Give him half the points?
If the shot is this good, should a heartless buzzer really cancel it out completely?
Can we have a moment of silence for Marco Belinelli’s ankles?