When Chris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets, everyone assumed Blake Griffin would be leaving for greener pastures and a chance to legitimately compete for an NBA title. That turned out not to be the case, and some within NBA circles believe that’s because Griffin was only planning to leave if CP3 signed a big extension with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Griffin is averaging 26.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game on ridiculous 50.9/44.4/81.8 shooting percentages this season. For a big man, those second two numbers are pretty damn impressive. He also has a 30.40 PER, or Player Efficiency Rating, a stat develop by ESPN NBA Insider John Hollinger. You only get above 30 if you’re playing at an elite level.
Griffin also has the Clippers at 4-0 and on top of the Western Conference with a league best 19.2 point differential. They started the season by dismantling the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz. The Suns and Lakers are not playoff teams, but the Jazz victory was convincing enough to be impressive. Tonight’s buzzer beater came at the expense of a feisty Portland Trail Blazers team that typically plays great at home.
Nobody expected this hot start from the Clippers, but Blake Griffin is playing like the dominant player we’ve seen when Paul missed stretches and has Clipper Nation feelin’ some type of way.