On Tuesday morning by 11 a.m. ET, one of the YouTube videos of Blake Griffin's absolutely disgusting posterization of Kendrick Perkins
had garnered 440,000 views in less than 11 hours. Feel free to also check out the low-angle slow-mo
and multiple-angle summary
Dunk of the year so far? Duh. However, I still personally I like Griffin's facial last year on Timofey Mozgov
better, simply for the fact that he literally patted the then-Knick centre on the head as he threw it down.
In addition to providing one of the highlights of the decade, the Clippers' dismantling of Oklahoma City Monday night showed what the Clip is really capable of. While Chris Paul's shooting can go up and down like a toilet seat (12-of-16 vs. the Thunder, three-of-11 vs. Memphis last week) when's he in the L.A. lineup it's clear how much better a team they are. With 14 assists Monday he had an MVP-type night, and you could certainly make a case for him in the sense that he's a player who is most valuable to his team.
But forget CP3 and Griffin's very public humiliation of Perkins momentarily -- an indication of how dangerous the Clippers can be in stretches came in the second quarter when they scored 12 points in 50 seconds -- in the form of four threes. I personally underestimated just how valuable Chauncey Billups would be to L.A. this season, but the fact is as a veteran leader playing the two guard spot -- and some work at his old spot at the point when Paul missed five games -- he's been invaluable. Caron Butler feeling it from outside is also a major X-factor.
So yes believe it, the Los Angeles Clippers are for real -- and true NBA Finals contenders for the first time since, well, ever. Aside from injuries, the only real things that could thwart them is the potentially poor offensive play calling of Vinny Del Negro (although that could be neutralized given the fact some believe Billups becomes the de facto coach of any team he plays on), or just karma paying back owner Donald Sterling.
If I had to bet one though, it would be the latter.
So if Monday's game was a matchup between the two best teams in the Western Conference -- and there is no real if, because at the moment it was -- does this mean the Clippers have the Thunder's number? Not really. The
Clippers were after all, smoking hot. As OKC coach Scott Brooks said afterwards, it's rare that any team make four threes in 50 seconds. It's also not commonplace that a dunk like Griffin's happens, sucking momentum out of the building one way.
The Thunder are a damn good team, but their youth -- while being their greatest advantage -- can also seem to be a liability sometimes. You know they are going to run all season and probably finish with the best record in the NBA thanks to those young legs. However there are a few issues -- and it's not Kevin Durant vs. Russell Westbrook, although Westbrook's nine missed dunks (unofficial stat thanks to The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry) so far this season may indicate the need for some better selection.
Perkins' trouble with technical fouls is among them.
Maybe I'm nitpicking though. They've only lost four games going into Wednesday.
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