Posted on: April 3, 2011 1:07 am
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka has a "block of the year" candidate against Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin. Posted by Ben Golliver.
It's difficult to call this the "Block of the Year" because just a few weeks ago Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee snatched a Wesley Matthews dunk attempt clean out of the air. Given the circumstances and the victim, however, what you're about to see is probably the silver medal winner.
During the fourth quarter of a Saturday night game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers, known high-flyer Blake Griffin attempted to put Thunder big man Serge Ibaka on a poster with a massive left-handed dunk attempt. Ibaka met Griffin at the apex, however, and the result was a stunning display of physicality and verticality, as Ibaka sent Griffin back cleanly, swatting the attempt with his right hand.
Here's the slow motion replay that you'll want to watch multiple times to see to believe.
That's about as Mutombo-esque as the modern NBA gets, and shortly after the play Ibaka shook his hand and gave a Mutombo finger wag.
Despite Ibaka's highlight heroics, the Clippers held on for a 98-92 upset. Griffin finished with a game-high 26 points. Ibaka finished with three blocks.
Posted on: March 24, 2011 10:59 am
An update on the top dunkers, statistically, in the league.
Posted by Matt Moore
This is the top ten of the Dunk-O-Meter we run here on CBSSports.com as of Thursday morning.
Dunks don't mean success, they don't mean production, they're fun and great for highlights. But they are high percentage shots and it does take a certain skill set to create them. It shows achievement, even if that achievement isn't indicative of success. Four of the players in the top ten are on lottery teams, six are on playoff squads.
None are on a seed higher than four as of this writing.
Posted on: March 20, 2011 8:51 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 8:56 pm
Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin does it again, but gets called for a charge. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Absolutely no one could forget when Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin used New York Knicks center Timofey Mozgov as a launching pad, hurtling himself up and over Mozgov to throw down a volleyball style spike dunk that was replayed ad nauseum for months. Really, it was the moment Griffin arrived as an NBA player.
Guess what? He did it again. Almost.
With the Phoenix Suns leading 97-84 late in the fourth quarter, Griffin slipped a high screen and roll with point guard Mo Williams at the top of the key. Cutting straight down the middle of the paint Griffin gathered himself as Suns center Marcin Gortat slid over near the protected circle. Griffin leaped without hesitation, using his left arm to boost himself well over Gortat and getting his right arm well, well above the rim.
Griffin then flung the ball down towards the basket with maximum force, looking much like Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard during his Superman NBA Slam Dunk contest dunk. The ball went through the hoop but the baseline referee whistled Griffin for a charge, much to his surprise and dismay.
Upon video replay, Gortat appears to have his heels off the ground and his toes outside the protected circle, so the call wasn't horrendous. Still, it robbed Griffin of another amazing highlight to add to his seemingly endless reel.
Here's the video courtesy of YouTube user GetBangedOn.
And here's Griffin's dunk over Mozgov for good measure courtesy of YouTube user NBA.
The Suns defeated the Clippers in Los Angeles, 108-99.
Posted on: March 18, 2011 11:31 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2011 11:37 pm
Would Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin look to play elsewhere in the future because of disgraced owner Donald Sterling? Posted by Ben Golliver.
We need not run down the list of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, but no matter where you're from or how politically correct you are, he has offended your sensibilities. He answers to no one besides, maybe, himself.
Friday, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports that Sterling's behavior, which has become unavoidably grotesque this season, has caught the eye of his franchise forward, Blake Griffin.
In between jumping over compact cars and dunking on your favorite team, Griffin is sizing up his owner in consideration of his future.
But if Sterling's reign of incompetence and downright meanness continues, there is perhaps one outcome that finally could build enough momentum to overturn, or at least rein in, his dictatorship. Sources say rookie sensation Blake Griffin is closely monitoring Sterling's struggles and is concerned, to say the least, about the owner's unfortunate string of public embarrassments. Under current NBA rules, players on rookie contracts have little power to influence where they play. And from the standpoint of talent and assets, the Clippers are on excellent footing going forward. But Griffin will not be tied to the Clippers forever, and there are indications he will consider not only the Clippers' ability to compete for a championship, but also the kind of owner he wants to play for when he becomes eligible (under current rules, anyway) for an extension on July 1, 2012. Would alienating the most promising player in franchise history be grounds for Sterling to finally be held accountable? The Clippers, still 42 months away from Griffin's extension eligibility, are said to be losing no sleep over the matter for now. But at some point soon, they should.The only problem that I can see with Griffin being able to influence Sterling's behavior is that we can't be certain that Sterling actually knows who Griffin is. Sure, Griffin is the most YouTube'd player in the world, arguably the most athletic player in the NBA, was the toast of the town in Los Angeles over All-Star Weekend after winning the Slam Dunk Contest, is set to be named Rookie of the Year in a few months and is bordering on being a top 10 overall player in his first trip through the league.
But we can't forget one simple fact: Sterling said in court this week that he didn't know who Elgin Baylor was when he hired him to be his GM. Elgin Baylor: NBA legend, Hall of Famer, one of the 50 greatest players of all time. If you don't know who Baylor is, we can't assume you know who Griffin is. Sad, but true.
The best case scenario here is that Sterling finally sells the Clippers to a thoughtful, modern owner who keeps Griffin in the City of Angeles for his entire career, smartly building a championship contender and rival for the Lakers around the league's most dynamic frontcourt talent in years.
The second best case scenario is for Griffin to flee Sterling as quickly as possible. Sadly, that scenario is much more realistic. It's way easier to change cities than it is to change a clueless owner's conduct.
Posted on: March 17, 2011 4:22 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 4:25 pm
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is fed up with all the hard fouls. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is a target. Don't believe me? Just watch this video of Andre Miller pancaking Griffin at full speed.
The latest incident came on Wednesday night, when Philadelphia 76ers forward Tony Battie and guard Jodie Meeks dragged Griffin down during a transition run out. Griffin received an outlet pass and was gathering to attack the basket on the run when Meeks reached back while flying by in front of him and Battie knocked him off course from behind. The double-whammy caused Griffin to spill to the ground, and Battie's momentum carried him over on top Griffin. Griffin lashed out by pushing Battie off of him and to the ground, while he also tried to untangle himself from a referee who was attempting to intervene. The sequence led to a lot of jawing between the two teams.
Here's video of the hard foul and Griffin's reaction courtesy of YouTube user nbafufu.
The Los Angeles Times notes that Battie was originally assessed a Flagrant Foul 2, which would have meant an automatic ejection, but the officials downgraded it to a Flagrant Foul 1 upon video review.
Either way, the paper noted, Griffin wasn't happy.
"I just felt like they had let things go way too much up to that point. That's what happens when you let things go when they don't call fouls and things like that happen. … And I thought it was ridiculous. So I'm not going to take that. … I've done it too much this season. It got to me."Griffin's teammate, guard Randy Foye, says Griffin has been getting extra attention from their opponents.
"He was getting hit pretty hard the whole game," Foye said. "He's frustrated. When he goes to the basket, sometimes he feels guys don't go for the ball. He thinks guys just take a whack at him just to let him know not to come down the lane. When he was taking his steps, he was ready to go off one foot. That's why I think he got so upset, and that's why I grabbed him real quick, because I could see how he got up. There was a lot of anger there. You don't want him to get suspended."Unfortunately for Griffin, when you put as many people on posters as he does, you're going to guys gunning for retribution on a nightly basis. Griffin plays hard, he plays aggressive, he plays above the rim and he's a rookie: that combination will get you every time in the NBA. Battie's play here was more awkward than malicious and it sounds like Griffin's frustration stems more from the accumulation of the attention he receives rather than that single play itself.
It takes awhile for the NBA to adjust to any rookie, but a rookie of Griffin's considerable talents makes that process take even longer. But the book is now out: rough Griffin up, it's your best chance to take him out of his game.
Posted on: March 10, 2011 1:37 am
Edited on: March 10, 2011 1:48 am
Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins got tons of late touches, Utah Jazz big man Al Jefferson got a tip in at the buzzer, Kevin Durant stars in an amazing picture and Blake Griffin throws down a lefty finish. All that, plus plenty more. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Each game is made up of elements that help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the previous night's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what led to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.
THE BIG ONE: ALL DEMARCUS, ALL THE TIME ALMOST WORKEDIf you're not rooting for the Sacramento Kings on behalf of their awesome fanbase given the possibility that the team relocates to Anaheim, there's something wrong with you. But Tuesday night's 106-102 loss to the Orlando Magic was painful enough to keep even a bandwagon-jumping sympathetic observer up at night, befuddled at how it went down.
The Kings jumped out of the gate thanks to a double dose of Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins, who combined for 19 first quarter points. Playing with life and energy, the Kings held on to a slight edge throughout most of the game, looking stoic enough to hang on despite the Magic finally getting serious midway through the fourth quarter. Even as Orlando point guard Jameer Nelson was in the midst of scoring eight straight Magic points, the Kings had an answer, as Cousins swished a beautiful turnaround jumper to give Sacramento a 97-93 lead with 4:03 to play.
Unfortunately, That jumper might have been the worst thing that happened to the Kings. Playing without lead guard Tyreke Evans, the Kings simply turned over the entirety of their offense to Cousins for most of the rest of the game. Given that he finished with 29 points, seven rebounds and two assists in 36 minutes and was being guarded by Dwight Howard, who was playing with five fouls, it wasn't a horrible idea. But as the possessions added up, it did start to feel forced, especially as he was often isolated well outside the paint.
On the first possession following his made jumper, Cousins missed a jumper and committed a turnover and then, with one possession off in the middle for a Thornton three-pointer, Cousins missed another jumper. Unswayed, and now trailing thanks to some more Nelson heroics, the Kings went back to Cousins again. He succeeded in drawing Howard's sxith foul on a drive to the hoop. Howard argued the call, but replays showed he had a hold of Cousins' jersey and didn't do an adequate enough job of moving his feet. Cousins missed the front end of the free throws, much to his own dismay, as the familiar head shake and "negative body language" was definitely in the building. Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu responded by hitting a three-pointer -- which he followed up with a wave goodbye -- to make the score 105-100, and that was essentially the ball game.
The three or four minute stretch of play encapsulated Cousins' season: tantalizing yet, ultimately, frustrating. His combination of a pure shooting stroke, handle, ability to snare offensive rebounds and his uncanny ability to draw fouls around the hoop made this game must-see TV, even as the Kings were busy blowing a late lead throughout all of it.
It's no big secret that Cousins needs to mature. This was the type of night that makes it possible for diehard Kings fans, and their sympathizers, to come away thinking: "Take your time growing up, big fella. We'll be here waiting for you."
AL JEFFERSON'S GAME-WINNER:
Earlier Wednesday night, we brought you video of New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony's game-winning jumper against the Memphis Grizzlies. Anthony's shot wasn't the only game-winner of the evening.
Utah Jazz big man Al Jefferson had one of the most improbable game-winners you'll see, topping the Raptors in Toronto. With the game tied at 94 with less than two seconds left, Jazz point guard Devin Harris drove into the lane to throw up a flip shot. The shot missed off the backboard and caromed into a four-man scrum in the middle of the paint.
Both Sonny Weems and Reggie Evans, one of the league's best rebounders, were in between Jefferson and the basket, however Jefferson was able to extend above both of them and teammate C.J. Miles to get his right hand to the ball. He propelled the ball upwards, well above the rim level, and it looped down slowly, directly through the basket. Jefferson's bucket provided the Jazz with the winning margin as time expired, 96-94.Here's video of the play, courtesy of YouTube user ESPN.
GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:
Kevin Love: 16 points, 21 rebounds, one steal in 27 minutes in a Minnesota Timberwolves home win over the Indiana Pacers.
Carmelo Anthony: 31 points, five rebounds, six assists, one steal on 12 of 24 shooting in a New York Knicks road win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
DeMarcus Cousins: 29 points, seven rebounds, two assists, three steals on 8 of 16 shooting in a Sacramento Kings home loss to the Orlando Magic.
HIGHLIGHT REEL:This is far from Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin's finest work, but he threw down a nifty, lefty dunk against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. Griffin slips the pick, levitates, clutches and finishes over Nenad Krstic. Pretty sweet. Video courtesy of YouTube user QuakeGriffin.
WHIMSY:I'm not sure if this picture of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant requires 3D goggles to view properly but it's pretty awesome.
FINAL THOUGHT:The Utah Jazz called up D-Leaguer Marcus Cousin on Tuesday and he made his NBA debut on Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors. Only one problem: The Jazz didn't have a jersey with his last name on it, just the number zero. RidiculousUpside.com comes through with the you-have-to-see-it picture and an explanation of what happened.
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:31 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Here's something you really shouldn't care about, but I'm telling you anyway. Via TMZ, some guy named Michael Scrivner is actually the one who gave Blake Griffin the idea to jump over a car, even including the part about an oop through the sun roof.
Scrivner claims he was watching ESPN when Griffin asked for ideas, so he sent Griffin a Twitter response laying out his car dunk idea.
Seeing how the world works with people obsessed with getting credit and shoutouts, Scrivner is mad and wants Griffin to acknowledge his idea. He told TMZ, "He could have at least given me a shout out! ... If he already had the idea for the dunk, why go on SportsCenter asking for ideas? It would be one thing if I had said to just dunk over a car, but the dunk was spot on everything I suggested.”
Hang on, give me five minutes. I need to run headfirst into this wall real quick.
If you check the guy's Twitter timeline out, it's definitely as he says. He put that idea out to Griffin, no doubt. And he hasn't shut up about getting "snubbed" since.
Following the dunk contest Saturday, Griffin was asked specifically about where he got the idea for the car dunk. He said, ""It was actually my idea to use the car. When they first came to me with the dunk contest idea, they said there was no rules. I was like, 'So I can jump over a car?' kind of playing around. He was like, 'Yeah.' And I was like, 'Oh, maybe I have to do it now.'"
Most of the contestants were discussing their inclusion to the dunk contest in early December, so obviously Griffin had the car idea well before Feb. 8. Maybe it was indeed the guy's idea to utilize the sunroof, but then again, who freaking cares whose idea it was? Like I said, you don't deserve any "props" for that. You don't need Griffin to stop and say, "Oh, and by the way, the idea to use the sunroof for an oop came from Michael Scrivner of Twitter. That would be at yoscrib. That's scrib, with a b on the end."
Another thing: It's the dunk contest. It's not a script that was nominated for an Oscar. I don't think there's plagiarizing in dunk contest ideas. Besides, you GAVE him the idea anyway! That was the whole point. I don't think there was ever any condition where Griffin was supposed to reciprocate with props if he used it.
And the fact TMZ headlined this calling it a "SCANDAL"? Oh my goodness. Somebody hand me a meat mallet. I need to hit myself in the face.
Sheesh. Why am I even writing about this? See, this is what happens when Carmelo finally goes and gets himself traded.
Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:33 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2011 12:22 am
Highlights and lowlights from the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. Posted by Ben Golliver.
The Western Conference prevailed over the Eastern Conference, 148-143, in Sunday’s 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Here’s a look at some of the highlights and lowlights from the evening.
Most Valuable Player – Kobe Bryant
From the opening tip, Kobe Bryant was playing just a touch harder than everyone else in the game and clearly looked like he was gunning for his 4th NBA All-Star MVP. Truth be told, he didn’t have much competition. He had the most points, the best dunks and the home court advantage. The West’s second half force-feeding of Bryant got a quiet Staples Center crowd going and the win sealed the deal. Bryant finished with a game-high 37 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals in 29 minutes. He received a standing ovation when West coach Gregg Popovich pulled him from the game with less than a minute to play. He was voted MVP immediately following the game, tying him with Bob Pettit for most career NBA All-Star Game MVPs.
Least Valuable Player – Kevin Love
Kevin Love might be the most valuable player on the Minnesota Timberwolves, but on Sunday night he was better as a towel waiver and hand clapper than as a scorer or impact rebounder. His limitations – athleticism, lift, height for his position – will never be more glaring than in an NBA All-Star Game. Love finished with two points, four rebounds and one assist in 11 minutes.
Best Moment – Kobe Bryant dunks on LeBron James in transition
As the West looked to pull away in the third quarter, LeBron James tried to shift the momentum by foolishly attempting a chasedown block from behind as Bryant coasted in for a transition dunk. 'Bron got up, but Bryant got up higher, throwing down a two-handed dunk with force to many oohs and aahs from the Lakers fans in attendance. (The dunk is pictured above.)
I get that the paint has to be protected and nobody wants to be in a post, but a third quarter drive from Kevin Durant ended in a massive collision when Dwight Howard met him high off the ground with full force. The resulting crash to the ground had people gasping, but Durant shook off the hit and headed quietly to the free throw line.
Most Thoughtful -- Drake
During a halftime show cameo, rapper Drake joined Rihanna on stage for a rendition of their hit “What’s My Name?” Drake flipped up the lyrics to wish Rihanna a happy birthday as Sunday was her 23rd birthday. Rihanna was later joined by an energetic Kanye West as well, making for a memorable and well-received halftime show.
Most Historic – Bill Russell
During a first half break in action, legendary Boston Celtics center Bill Russell was recognized for winning the President Medal of Freedom this week. Russell, who was wearing the medal, was cheered loudly by the crowd, a nice gesture considering the current Celtics were roundly booed when they entered the game.
Best Coaching Move – Doc Rivers
In the first half, East coach Doc Rivers subbed all four of his Boston Celtics – Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett-- into the game simultaneously. What better way for a coach to show his appreciation for as team-first and ego-free group of All-Stars as you’ll find?
Second Best Coaching Move – Gregg Popovich
During the fourth quarter, the Staples Center crowd started a chant of “We want Blake!” West coach Gregg Poppovich immediately obliged their demands. If Bryant is King of L.A., Griffin is surely first in line to take the throne.
Biggest Disappointment – Blake Griffin
In relative terms of course. After showing out big time in the rookie/sophomore game and making history in the Dunk Contest, Blake Griffin was a bit player on Sunday, looking a little bit tentative on offense and managing only a few moments of jaw-dropping glory. Griffin finished with eight points, five rebounds and five assists in 14 minutes.
Best Potential – Russell Westbrook
Of the first time All-Stars, few looked like they belong as much as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who threw down a vicious dunk in transition, yanked his defenders around with crossovers and finished one move in the paint with an acrobatic lefty hanging flip shot. He will be a staple of future All-Star Games for years to come. Westbrook finished with 12 points, five rebounds and two assists in 14 minutes.
Most Overlooked -- LeBron James
Because his night slowly built up over the course of the game, LeBron James got lost in the early Bryant flurry and wasn't the game's headliner. But his supporting performance was still jaw-dropping and thunderous, his relentless drives to the rim ending with one monster dunk and a number of trips to the free throw line. When all was said and done, he finished with a gigantic triple double: 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in 32 minutes.
Best Technology – Mics
The in-arena sound was excellent throughout the night, but the best touch was the on-court microphones, which allowed everyone – even those in the upper deck – to hear scattered player conversations. Guys yelling “same” when two teammates went for the same rebound, “help” when someone didn’t get back in transition and, of course, “come on” when a perceived foul wasn’t called. The sound, combined with the stage lighting, made for an unforgettable live experience.
Here’s a nearly complete list of celebrities that were shown on the big screen during the game.
Gene Simmons, Justin Bieber, Stevie Wonder, P. Diddy, Spike Lee, George Lopez, Bruno Mars, John Legend, Mark Curry, Keri Hilson, Dustin Hoffman, Steven Tyler, Nick Cannon, Neyo, Warren Beatty, Julius Erving, James Worthy, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, Darryl Dawkins, Dominique Wilkins, Rick Fox, Kanye West, Ellen Pompeo, Jack Nicholson, Derek Fisher, Shawn Stockman, Piers Morgan, Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte, Chris Tucker, Snoop Dogg, Noah Wyle, Ciara, Terrell Owens, Rihanna, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Robert Horry, Forest Whitaker.