Tell me if this sounds familiar: An exceptionally athletic budding star beginning his career in L.A., wowing crowds around the nation with stellar plays and amazing stat lines.
Led by Blake Griffin, the Clippers took it hard to the Wolves in the second half by out-hustling, playing great defense and sticking with their guns on offense.
Coming into this game with two offensive-oriented teams, you’d figure this to be a typical barn burner. But with a first half score of 43-42 and dismal shooting percentages, the ending was practically anyone’s guess. That is until the Wolves came out with zero energy.
Contrary to a first half of hustle and effort on both ends of the floor, the Wolves came out of the tunnel at half completely flat. The offense wasn’t running seamlessly through Darko anymore and there wasn’t any other takers willing to step up and take control in the half-court sets. Kevin Love, after getting his shoulder banged up and leaving the game, returned with little intensity and clearly wasn’t the answer. Martell Webster received the start tonight but didn’t have his smooth jumper falling from outside. Luke Ridnour was wild with his shot selection, dating back to his old self from the cold, weary November days.
All there was to cheer for tonight was Love’s double-double streak. He did indeed extend his streak up to 42 straight games, but who really cares anymore? When your team is playing this terrible as of late and all you have to root for is a pesky stat, it ought to be time to give up all hope. Not that I am in any way, but Love’s receiving a bulk of his stats in garbage minutes when the Wolves are already far from winning the game. If he were to prove himself as a real All-Star, he’d be getting the majority of his boards and points when it matters the most, when this team actually has a shot at winning a game. But without a change to the current mentality and perhaps the roster itself, I don’t know if I see that change happening.
There was just nothing really worth watching tonight. It’s the third time in a row that the Wolves were severely beat on both ends of the court, ending in yet another ugly loss. So let’s go back to my main point: Blake Griffin.
I started off making the comparison between Griffin and a young Kobe Bryant. Both players ventured into the NBA into ideal situations, being allowed to rise to stardom with a luxurious, Laguna Beach-like life spoon-fed to them. Griffin has taken this nation by storm, there’s no doubt about that. He’s been treating fan-bases around the country welcoming them all to the “Blake Griffin Show” including us Minnesotans tonight. But there are times where his high-flying antics leaves his face snickered in the direction of the opposition’s bench and/or fans. So pick a side: Either you choose to fall in love with his thunderous dunks and explosive personality or you despise his smug facial expressions and cocky on-court attitude.
Feel free to comment with your own opinion on the game and/or Griffin. The Wolves return after the All-Star break with a showdown in Milwaukee.
So, until then, stay classy and cheer on Love this weekend.