The series didn’t start out well for the Clippers as they dropped game 1 to the Warriors due in part to early foul trouble for Blake Griffin. The initial meeting was frustrating for Griffin, who managed only 16 points before fouling out in the final moments. From the bench, Blake watched Golden State pull away as his team imploded, giving up turnovers and failing to score after his departure. As bad as that moment seemed, it looks like it may have been a launching point for Blake Griffin in this playoff series, as he has been a force that his opponents don’t seem to have an answer for, and he now accounts for 83 total points in 93 minutes of play in the series according to SF Gate. The Warriors, so far, have yet to come up with a solution to their Blake Griffin problem.
“We’ll make adjustments. Obviously, (Griffin) is playing well and demanding a lot of attention, but we want to make sure that we’re not switching our style of defense and not overreacting,” said the Golden State’s Stephen Curry. It may be time for a little overreacting.
Griffin helped propel the Clippers to a 40 point victory in game 2, adding 35 points to the decisive 138-98 victory. The gap in the final score of game 3 may have been significantly closer, but Griffin’s stat line was about the same according to NBA.com, as Blake contributed another 32 points to a winning effort in front of a Golden State home crowd who would watch him dominate and give LA a 2-1 series lead as they took the game 98-96 in front of the gold-clad fans at Oracle Arena.
“When we needed it, we got stops,” Blake Griffin said. “And that’s why we were successful.”
The combined physical presence of Griffin and Jordan in the frontcourt has been more than the Warriors can handle the past two games, and they will need to find some sort of answer for the duo for Sunday’s game 4 matchup. If Blake manages another 30-something points, you can’t help but think that the Clippers will be walking out with another victory, and a decided advantage in this playoff matchup.
“Winning ugly is beautiful,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “But as a coach, I know we can be better, and I have to bring that out of us.”
It sounds like the Clippers aren’t satisfied with the way they played in game 3 either, and they’ll be looking for Blake Griffin to continue to carry the load for the team going forward. It’s up to the Warriors to stop him.