Obviously Clips Nation was pleased with Blake Griffin’s performance on Monday night.
Turns out, this guy
is pretty good. 27 points, on 11 for 15 shooting, and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes. That greedy guy might want fewer than 5 turnovers, better than 4 for 8 from the line. But this way, the guy has something to work on during practice, right? More important perhaps than the raw numbers is just WHO this guy is. After the game, MDsr said basically, "Hey, this is what he's been doing to guys in practice this week, so we're not surprised. But you never know how a guy is going to react to the stage." Well, Blake Griffin LOVES the spotlight. He scored the first three times he touched the ball, and he was demanding the ball on every trip. He's ready for his closeup, Mr. DeMille. So he has the qualities and the temperament to be a star. But he's also an incredibly hard worker. He was talking on every defensive possession, going after every ball. What a luxury to have a player this talented, who also has all of the other qualities you most want on your team. Griffin
No matter what happens, the Clippers will have a different look next season, starting with
. On the Clippers' first three possessions, he made a layup off a pick and roll with Eric Gordon, banked in 12-foot jump shot and made a three-point basket. Griffin
"For a guy like him, it's hard to have a bad game because he plays so hard and does so many things," said Dunleavy, who was a spectator. "He's very unselfish. He's going to draw a lot of attention. What he did tonight, he made the right plays to the right people at the right time. I just love the way he plays."
Blake’s work ethic has been exceptional and it paid significant dividends Monday night.
, the Clips' prized rookie and the first overall pick in this year's NBA draft, delivered seven points in the game's first three possessions. In his first professional set, Griffin hooked up with second-year guard Eric Gordon for a pick-and-roll that resulted in an easy layup for the rookie. Griffin
"That should be the bread and butter this coming year," Gordon said. "We're both young guys and we should have a great chemistry."
Among all the impressive things Blake did on the court Monday night, taking a charge late in the game with a double-digit lead may have been the most notable.
"Just like everybody else, I'm trying to show my coaches and my team what I can do," he said. "There's never a bad time to take a charge, as far as I'm concerned."
Among the impressed was Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak.
"He's a No. 1 pick for a reason," Kupchak said at halftime. "He should have a heck of a career. He looks mature beyond his years."
No one is more excited about
There was a noticeable buzz in the Thomas &
, and tipoff was still 45 minutes away. Mack Center
The strange thing -- the buzz centered on the Los Angeles Clippers, not the Lakers.
Clipper Nation, led by its biggest fan, "Clipper Darrell" Bailey, was out in full force with hundreds having traveled from
on Interstate 15 to see the future of the woeful franchise. Los Angeles
Despite their differences on the field, Bradford and McCoy have one major thing in common. They have a strong bond off the field.
"We talk a lot about football, but we are really good friends off the field," McCoy said at last week’s
Manning Passing Academyat . "We can talk about anything. We are enjoying each other and having a good time, but we know that once we step on the field to play each other, it’s a competition and it’s a game." Nicholls State University
TSN has their list of the Top 5 College Football Coaches. Bob Stoops is ranked at #4.
4. Bob Stoops,
. Instead of focusing on Oklahoma's 0-fer in its last five BCS bowls -- including three national title game losses -- we should put as much emphasis on what the Sooners do right: success in one of the two best conferences in the nation. Oklahoma
OU is 6-1 in Big 12 championship games under Stoops, and no other league program is better than .500 in the title game.
The problem is that the BCS system places value on playing for it all, and conference championship games become merely a step in the process -- when, in reality, winning the SEC or Big 12 is much harder than winning one game for the national title.
Sticking with rankings, Tim Griffin ranks the Big 12 Stadiums.
5. Memorial Stadium,
: I get the sense of history here as you can almost feel the ghosts of Bud Wilkinson and Barry Switzer strolling the sideline. But be aware that you need to leave early because traffic can back up on Interstate 35 if you cut things too tightly. Oklahoma