Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Blake Griffin
Posted on: February 8, 2012 3:27 pm
 

Report: Griffin to play in Rookie/Sophomore game

Posted by Royce Young

Blake Griffin could be headed for another hectic All-Star Weekend as he's already been voted in a starter for the Western Conference, has been named in the Rookie/Sophomore game and might participate in the dunk contest.

Griffin said recently that "last year was hectic and it kind of made it unenjoyable" so that would make one think he'd scale back on his participation. But according to the O.C. Register, Griffin will indeed play in the now titled "Rising Stars Challenge" on Friday night.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin was one of 18 first and second-year players selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge Friday night during All-Star Weekend in Orlando. And despite already being named a starter for the Western Conference in the big game, Griffin will still participate in the Rising Stars game, a team source confirmed Wednesday.

The two teams will be selected by Shaq and Charles Barkley and Griffin will almost assuredly be the top pick. At least that's where I have him on my big board. The draft will take place on NBATV Feb. 16.

With Griffin playing in the Rising Stars game, that would likely cancel him out for the dunk contest, if what he said is true about doing less this season. Because last year in Los Angeles, Griffin did all three and was obviously worn out from the weekend. He hinted that he might consider the dunk contest when asked, but I wouldn't bet on it now. I'm actually a bit surprised he's playing in the Rising Stars game, really.

The game is on Friday, Feb. 24.

Posted on: February 8, 2012 2:53 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 4:05 pm
 

NBA releases Rookie/Soph 'player pool'

Posted by Royce Young

Irving leads the rookie class in this year's reformatted Rookie Challenge. (Getty Images)

The NBA's Rookie Challenge is getting a facelift this season. Instead of just matching up rookies against second-year players, there will be a "player pool" in which two general managers -- Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley -- to pick from. Which means the rookies and sophomores will be mixed.

The 18 players picked are (sophomores first): Blake Griffin, Landry Fields, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Greg Monroe, Tiago Splitter, Evan Turner and John Wall. From the rookie class, Kyrie Irving, Ricky Rubio, MarShon Brooks, Brandon Knight, Kawhi Leonard, Markieff Morris, Tristan Thompson, Kemba Walker and Derrick Williams.

No Iman Shumpert is definitely a snub though. NBA assistant coaches are the ones who voted on this list of players.

If Griffin indeed is playing, as one report says he is, he's the obvious No. 1 overall pick but after that, it'll be a little interesting. I imagine John Wall will be taken second, but Irving and Rubio have a shot at it.

Here's my rookie/sophomore big board:

1. Blake Griffin - Obvious top player. A franchise cornerstone where in this case, the franchise is a one-game exhibition no one really cares about.

2. John Wall - Maybe not having the best season for the struggling Wizards, but in this format could be the best player on the floor.

3. Kyrie Irving - Irving is maybe actually All-Star material. You can't go wrong taking him second overall, but if Griffin plays, an Irving-Griffin tandem is likely.

4. Ricky Rubio - Whoever has the No. 2 pick will likely be forced to pull a Kahn and take two point guards with his top two picks. But you can't pass on Rubio. Plus, a Wall-Rubio backcourt makes enough sense.

5. Greg Monroe - Every team needs a skilled big man and Monroe is the class of the class.

6. Paul George - You probably haven't noticed yet, but George is having a breakout season.

7. DeMarcus Cousins - Lucky for whoever takes Cousins, this is only one game and things like "character" and "chemistry" don't really factor in.

8. Evan Turner - It's not hard to see Turner excelling in this game. Good passer and a steady shooting guard that can score off the dribble.

9. Kemba Walker - Walker's versatility gives him value. He could play point or off the ball. And I bet he'll try a crossover so nasty in this game that it breaks someone in the crowd's ankles.

10. MarShon Brooks - It wouldn't shock me if Brooks ends up the high scorer in this game.

11. Derrick Williams - His jumper hasn't been as good as advertised thus far and he hasn't sniffed a breakout moment yet, but Williams might feel more at home against guys his own age.

12. Gordon Hayward - Now you're getting to the point where you're going off name recognition.

13. Kawhi Leonard - A good defender really isn't something that valuable in this game, but Leonard has a pretty solid outside touch.

14. Tristan Thompson - This isn't an indictment on Thompson as a player to have him this low, but in this format, I don't think he'll be much more than an alley-oop target and someone to grab rebounds that come directly to him.

15. Brandon Knight - Who wants a fifth point guard on their team?

16. Landry Fields - Pretty much the same explanation for Leonard could go right here.

17. Tiago Splitter - The biggest big man that needs the ball on the block to be effective. So who wants the boring post player?

18. Markieff Morris - I assume this is the better Morris because he was named to the pool. Bragging rights!
Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:41 pm
 

Griffin not saying no to dunk contest yet

Posted by Royce Young

Blake Griffin says he'll make a decision on the dunk contest when he's asked. (Getty Images)

Blake Griffin said last week he wouldn't defend his dunk crown this All-Star Weekend in Orlando. But he's reconsidering. Or will consider when he's asked. Via the Orlando Sentinel:
"I'm not even really worried about it right now or thinking about it, to be honest," Griffin said after the Clippers finished their shootaround for their game tonight against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center.

"I haven't been approached yet, so we'll see what happens with that. We'll see what they're going to do, and I'll guess I'll make a decision."

Again, Griffin had already indicated he wouldn't participate saying, "As of right now I don't plan on being in it." But I guess he wants to just wait to make that call when he's formally asked.

"Last year was hectic and it kind of made it unenjoyable," Griffin said last week. "So this year, we'll see what will happen, but I will try to tone it down a bit and get a break instead of being so busy."

I highly doubt Griffin is actually reconsidering but he sort of is. I don't know what "we'll see what they're going to do" means, but that seems to have a factor in this decision.

Griffin obviously would be a major name to put in the contest and the league would love to have him. He's one of the top dunkers in the league in both numbers and style. He said before last year's dunk contest that he won that he's never lost a dunk-off in his life.

But Griffin could have a busy weekend coming his way as last Thursday, the NBA announced that Griffin, 22, was voted by the fans to the starting lineup of the Western Conference All-Star team. Which means if he did the dunk contest and even played in the Rookie Challenge, he'd have another full plate, which I'm sure he'd rather not have.
Posted on: February 8, 2012 11:54 am
Edited on: February 8, 2012 12:04 pm
 

Perkins slams LeBron about his tweet on Griffin

Perkins didn't mind getting dunked on, he just didn't like the reaction. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

For almost 24 hours after Blake Griffin detonated a dunk over him, Kendrick Perkins trended worldwide on Twitter. Griffin's dunk changed Perkins' reputation from the tough guy in the paint to the guy that got posterized.

No bother to him though, he says. Via Yahoo! Sports:
"If I was in the same position, in the same rotation, I’m going to jump again and again and again,” Perkins told Yahoo! Sports. “I don’t care. A lot of people are afraid of humiliation or don’t know how to handle embarrassment or would even get embarrassed. I don’t care.

“I’m the same Perk you’re going to see. I’m still going to sign autographs the same way. I ain’t going to change. The people that move out the way and stuff are the people who have insecurity problems.

“That’s my job. How will my teammates look at me if next time I just back out the way and just let him dunk when I’m supposed to be defensive-minded, a shot-blocker? That would be a coward move on me. He’d just have to dunk on me again.”

One thing that did bother Perk though? LeBron James' reaction to Griffin's dunk. Specifically, his excited tweet about it that said, "Dunk of the Year! @blakegriffin just dunked on Kendrick Perkins so hard!!! Wow! I guess I’m No. 2 now. Move over #6.” LeBron of course talking about his dunk over John Lucas III.

Said Perkins:
"You don’t see Kobe [Bryant] tweeting,” Perkins said. “You don’t see Michael Jordan tweeting. If you’re an elite player, plays like that don’t excite you. At the end of the day, the guys who are playing for the right reasons who are trying to win championships are not worrying about one play.

“They also are not tweeting about themselves talking about going down to No. 2. I just feel [James] is always looking for attention and he wants the world to like him.”

One thing to note: I think the reason you don't see Kobe or Michael Jordan tweeting is because they aren't on Twitter. Just a theory.

But Perk's sour grapes here about LeBron seems a bit petty to me. A lot of players tweeted about Griffin's dunk, including Chris Paul, Magic Johnson and Kevin Love. I do see Perk's point though in that the way LeBron's tweet was worded makes it seem like LeBron is a tad vain.

The Heat play the Thunder March 25. That game was already must-watch, but it's got another storyline with it now. I think LeBron might try to Mosgov and Lucas Perkins all that the same time.

Posted on: February 7, 2012 6:39 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 8:04 am
 

Clippers can and must move on without Billups

Chauncey Billups will miss at least eight months after suffering a torn left Achilles tendon. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore
 

You have to wonder how angry at fate Chauncey Billups is. 

Billups was traded from Detroit to his hometown of Denver. He was part of a winning team there, advancing to the Conference Finals and giving the Lakers a fight. Things were headed in a good direction for him to finish his career as part of a contender.

Less than 24 months later, facing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon, there has to be a lot of confusion and resentment over how things got to this point.

After all, it wasn't Billups who wished to leave Denver. He had his agent leak that he would be unhappy being part of any move made. But the Carmelo Anthony saga was bigger than Billups, bigger than any of the other nearly dozen players involved. Billups was sucked up into it and shipped to New York. And Billups went along with it. He was a pro. He tried working in a system that was not suited to his needs, dealt with having his pride damaged by essentially being a tag-a-long to the gunner star Melo and his reality television wife. Here was a player who had a title to his name suffering to the whims of a superstar without jewelry. But he went along with it.

The Knicks were looking at moves. Billups asked them to not trade him. Then the Knicks started talking about bringing in Tyson Chandler, which would mean they'd need to amnesty Billups. Fine with him, he'd still get paid. But the way the amnesty structure was set up in a CBA (which Billups likely did not want but was willing to take like the rest of the players just to end the lockout), another team could claim him off waivers for a portion of his salary. For Billups, that was enough. He'd dealt with being traded like meat, that comes with part of the business. He'd dealt with being baggage to the Melo circus, again, part of the business. He'd done his best in New York like a professional. But if he was going to be waived, he was not going to wind up on a cellar-dweller. 

So he made it known. A professional his whole career, a locker-room leader and NBA champion, he had to openly threaten teams with disrupting their teams if they tried to bring him into a rebuilder.

The Clippers took him anyway.

And Billups was not happy about it, but in the end, his professionalism won out. He didn't show up surly. He didn't show up angry. Even when once again he became a part of a freakshow with the trade of Chris Paul, he did his thing. They wanted him to move to shooting guard. Sure thing.

And now, this.

Maybe he would have gotten injured anyway. Maybe his Achilles was a ticking time bomb. And he still gets paid, after all. The full amount of his contract. But consider that it's likely that Billups' career ends this way:

He suffered a potentially career-ending injury playing for a team who signed him off amnesty waivers after he specifically asked them not to using a clause in the CBA which he did not want from a team he didn't want to be sent to in the first place due the Melo drama which had nothing to do with him.

His season is over. He will not play for Team USA this summer. His career may be over. 

It is not difficult to come to the conclusion that Chauncey Billups deserved better than this. 

-----------------------------------
-
 
As for the Clippers, many will begin talks that this damages their team irreparably. But a quick look at the roster confirms that the Clippers are in as good a position to survive this as any team can be. They have a number of options. Observe: 

1. Move Caron Butler to shooting guard, start Ryan Gomes. Butler has flourished in the small forward position, stretching the floor. But he can just as easily move to two-guard. Ryan Gomes can fill the gap at small forward and from there out, the Clippers employ a large number of three-guard lineups anyway.

2. Start Randy Foye, keep Mo Williams off the bench, Butler stays at the three. This is what the Clippers have done when Billups has missed games due to a myriad of injuries. Foye is not at all Billups, but he is younger and more athletic. What's more, Foye is less likely to force the issue and try and score on his own, more likely to facilitate both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin along with Butler.

3. Start Mo Williams, bring Foye off the bench. Mo Williams has been a potential sixth man of the year candidate this season and has played exceptionally well. He would likely welcome a move to the starting lineup for his pride's sake and despite not having Billups' size, can work just fine next to Paul as a shooter. Williams is a scoring point regardless, and with the Clippers using Paul as a decoy on many possessions anyway, Williams can create with Griffin and DeAndre Jordan just as well.

4. Sign J.R. Smith, use either he or Mo Williams off the bench. Smith is due to be released from this obligations with the Chinese Basketball Association sometime in the next three to six weeks depending on playoffs. The Clippers are being heavily discussed as a suitor for him, and it would be a natural fit. They don't have the cap space to offer him a long term deal, but he could come in immediately, be given as many shot as he can find room for, and play for a team in contention. This scenario makes the most sense, whether it's him or or Williams off the bench.

The Clippers will miss Billups' on-floor leadership, his scoring, his defense, and his experience. But Billups also hasn't been a very productive player due to age. He fit well on the Clippers, but with their guard depth, they're well-suited to withstand this blow in time. It doesn't make it any better, but it's still a huge loss, but it's not one that creates a crisis in their backcourt. This team has too much talent left and too much at stake not to press forward.

Posted on: February 3, 2012 5:26 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Power plays

By Matt Moore



In this week's edition of 
the Friday 5, KB talks the best power forward in the West, how good the Bulls are, and whether Griffin-over-Perkins was a dunk . You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS


1. Who's the best power forward in the West?

If you consider Pau Gasol to be a power forward (and I do, despite the fact that he doesn't play with much power), it's hard to do better. But in terms of all-around game, LaMarcus Aldridge is about to pass him, if he hasn't already.

2. Are the Bulls better, worse, or the same as they were last year?

Better. Rip Hamilton gives them an experienced scorer for the playoffs and makes their bench more potent -- whether he starts or Ronnie Brewer does, either way. Omer Asik will be ready to contribute in a meaningful way in the playoffs and is becoming a bear to deal with on screens. Also, I love the way Derrick Rose has responded to falling short against Miami in the conference finals, with a quiet but edgy determination to go farther this time.

3. Brian Cardinal noted to me this week that teams that can go 9, 10 deep are having success. Do you think the need for depth in this crazy compacted schedule will carry over in the playoffs or are we just going to see the usual 8-man rotation we usually see?

I think it depends on the team, but for the most part, the extra days of rest, practice and game-planning will allow teams to go with a more orthodox rotation. For teams with quality bench players (Spurs, Mavs, Thunder, Bulls, Sixers), getting them additional floor time and experience during the regular season will make them more effective in the postseason.

4. What should the Pistons do to fix this mess?

Where to begin? As I alluded to in Postups, Joe Dumars could be in for some tough times. For starters, I'd see if a financially flexible contender would be willing to take Ben Gordon off my hands between now and the deadline. Then, I'd amnesty Charlie Villanueva next summer and go from there. Where I'd be going, I'm not sure, but I'd get moving in that direction -- whatever that direction is.

5. How does the Blake Griffin/Perkins dunk measure up on your all-time scale?

I don't really keep conscious track of such things. But I enjoyed the EOB roundtable on the best dunks ever, and I'll say this: 1) Like Dwight Howard's "Superman" stunt in the dunk contest, if you don't flush the ball and make the rim snap, it ain't a dunk. Impressive that Griffin is the only player in the league who can get so high above the rim that he's literally throwing the ball through the rim from on high, but still, it ain't a dunk; and 2) Whatever it was, it still wasn't better than Vince Carter over Frederic Weis.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 1:14 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 3:45 pm
 

EOB Roundtable: Best dunks of all time

Posted by Ben GolliverMatt Moore and Royce Young

Earlier this week, Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James and Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin treated the NBA worlrd to two of the best dunks you'll ever see.

James completedly hurdled Chicago Bulls point guard John Lucas III to finish a one-handed alley-oop pass from Heat guard Dwyane Wade. Griffin flew up and over Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins to throw down one of his power/speed/brute force specialties.

That got the CBSSports.com Eye on Basketball Staff thinking: What are the best dunks of all time? We kicked it around in a panel discussion.

Matt Moore:

So Griffin's abject demolition of Perkins and his dignity has set off a huge discussion of dunks this week. The big debate of course is how this one stacks up against Vince Carter over Frederic Weis. (Via YouTube user Supra2K8)



Everyone keeps coming back to the fact that he cleared a seven footer, which is obviously impressive. But for me, there are a number of things that make Griffin's RIPerkins better. Most importantly, Weis was trying to take the charge. Carter clears him (kind of, with some manipulation of Weis' head with his hand between his legs), but Weis isn't defending. On the other hand, Perkins is full-on trying to block, and if not block, foul Griffin. The dunk is a monumental clash of an elite shot challenger and the offensive player driving straight through his soul.

I always think a dunk being completed through a challenge is better than just dunking over a tall dude. If I wanted props I'd go to the dunk contest. That's why I tend to like this one as my second favorite of all time. (Via YouTube user DJNajeem)  

I mean, come on, now. That's Anderson Varejao, an annual defensive player of the year candidate. Weis was a fine defender... but not at the NBA level. I'd still put Carter as the best dunker of all time (in-game, dunk contest, your mom's house, anywhere). But Griffin's abject annihilation of Perkins has to be considered the best. In a related story, Amar'e Stoudemire over Anthony Tolliver. (Via YouTube user TheBrosBros
 


Royce Young:

You know what dunk gets criminally overlooked? J.R. Smith's two-handed "We just saw a man fly!" finish over Gary Neal. Three things that make that dunk amazing: 1) It was with two hands 2) It was darn near a buzzer beater and 3) Kevin Harlan's call. (Via YouTube user Huff99)



See, I think that's the type of stuff that can distinguish one great dunk from another -- the little things. Because all dunks over someone are pretty incredible when you think about it. But the details like how good the call of it was, how the ball went through the net (was it a splashing flush or did it rattle in, like Griffin's?), who it was over, the significance of it and stuff like that.  On that, you've got to have Pippen's destruction over Patrick Ewing. It has all of the above. Great call, major significance and it was over a seven-footer. For my money, it's the best ever. I mean, that's a total humiliation of Ewing. Pippen took Ewing's manhood and disrespect his family tree. He didn't just dunk over Ewing, he dunked through him. (Via YouTube user Funk2Dunk)
 


One more that I have to mention is LeBron's over Kevin Garnett in the 2008 playoffs. "With no regard for human life!" might be the all-time best dunk call. And it was over KG, which is big time. (Via YouTube user Marszall87)
 
Ben Golliver:

Reading your responses, I basically was just nodding continuously. I guess I'm not wired for the "Best Dunk" debate. I approach YouTube more like a wine collector approaches his cellar: collect all the greats, then keep collecting, then collect some more and then collect even more. I care more about experiencing all the greats than about ranking the cream of the crop.

Similarly, I'm partial to the classics. The first one that comes to mind when I think of a dunk is Michael Jordan over Ewing.(Via YouTube User ESPN)



This one just wraps up Jordan the offensive weapon so perfectly. Incredible handle, vision, instincts, quickness, power, fearlessness and total authority. The physicality at the end is just icing on a flawless cake.

You probably guessed that Julius Erving's cradle dunk over Michael Cooper would be next on my list. (Via YouTube user diegoris23)



It didn't quite have the man-on-man violence of some of these other dunks but the beauty is in how natural and in-the-flow this one came about. It was as if Dr. J was just walking down the street, saw a basketball lying on the ground, didn't even stop to bend over and picked it up, scooped it in rhythm and then tossed it on a very good defender's head in one brilliant, swooping motion. Iconic.

Last but not least, I think Kevin Durant's dunk over Brendan Haywood during the 2011 Playoffs will wind up standing up to the test of time. It's more recent than my other two picks but I predict massive staying powero on this one. (Via YouTube user NBA).



I see this as a future classic because Durant is on track for true greatness and because this dunk shows his amazing length, probably his most obvious stand out physical attribute. It shows his handle, his hops and his swagger. This will be the dunk that Durant enthusiasts point to in 30 years when detractors try to argue that Durant was "just a shooter" or that his slim frame held him back him from becoming a top-20 type of player. The extension on this one was amazing. The replays just make it better and better.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 3:13 am
 

Blake Griffin: I won't defend dunk contest crown

Posted by Ben Golliver 

Blake Griffin says he does not plan to defend his Dunk Contest crown. (Getty Images)

You can hear the Kia executives breaking down in tears around the world.

Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin said Thursday that he does not plan to defend his 2011 Slam Dunk Contest title.

ESPNLA.com reports that Griffin plans to take it easier during the 2012 All-Star Weekend in Orlando than he did at 2011 All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.
"As of right now I don't plan on being in it," Griffin said Thursday night. "Those dunk contests aren't my thing, I said that last year. There's a lot of guys that can put on a great show and do some good stuff."

"Last year was hectic and it kind of made it unenjoyable," Griffin said. "So this year, we'll see what will happen, but I will try to tone it down a bit and get a break instead of being so busy."

Griffin won the 2011 Dunk Contest by jumping over a Kia while catching an alley-oop pass from then teammate Baron Davis. His absence would take a lot of steam out of this year's contest, considering that he was the one All-Star who appeared in the 2011 version. Love him or hate him, you can't replace him.

Earlier this week, Griffin threw down arguably the dunk of the year, posterizing Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins.

Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James said that he is giving consideration to participating in this year's Dunk Contest, although nothing is finalized. James has made similar indications in previous years but has yet to participate.

On Thursday, the NBA announced that Griffin, 22, was voted by the fans to the starting lineup of the Western Conference All-Star team. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com