Let’s be honest for a second. Blake Griffin is a beast and there’s no denying it. He started carving his path in high school by winning his team state titles each of the four years that he played and continued to strive to be the best during his college career. He averaged 18.8 PPG and 11.8 RPG in his two years at the University of Oklahoma Sooners before he entered into the 2009 NBA draft and was picked up as a first round pick by the Los Angeles Clippers (which I think we can agree is probably the best decision they’ve ever made). He proved himself an asset during the Summer League earning the MVP award and continued to impress during the preseason until, during the final preseason game, he injured his kneecap on a landing after a dunk. It was devastating. Soon after it was confirmed that he had a severe stress fracture that ended up requiring surgery and completely eliminated him from his entire official rookie season.
His return to the 2010-11 season (which they counted as his rookie season due to his lack of play in the previous regular season) was like the gates of heaven opening for the Clippers who were still struggling, and had been for quite some time. Griffin did not disappoint. In his season opener he scored 20 points with 14 rebounds and continued to raise the bar by setting the franchise record for the most consecutive double-doubles, 23, and breaking a 1968 set by a rookie. But wait. There’s more. He also set a franchise record for the most points scored by a rookie with 47 and followed it up later with another 40+ point game, giving him the status of being the only player to have two 40+ games in their rookie season since Allen Iverson in the 1996-97 season. Perhaps it was all of this that lead him to be the first rookie voted into the NBA All Stars by the coaches since Tim Duncan in 1998.
In the following 2011-12 season, Chris Paul entered the scene and I’m sure that’s when the average level of knowledge about the Clippers spikes. So enough history. Let’s get down to some epic down and dirty dunks and a few other things that show why Blake Griffin is becoming a huge threat all over the court.
But mainly… because dunks.
10. Crawford Connection
DeAndre Jordan grabs the defensive rebound under the basket as Griffin and Jamal Crawford hustle down the court. DJ lobs it to Griffin and they turn on their Harlem Globetrotters setting. Griffin and Crawford run uncontested down the court, Griffin catches the pass and releases to Crawford who lobs it up to set up the alley oop. Easy like Sunday morning.
9. Putback in Style
Griffin definitely knows how to follow up an offensive rebound. Matt Barnes puts up a three from the outside corner and it slides around the rim but shoots back out into the key where Blake Griffin is ready to box it out old school for the rebound and grabs the ball one handed in the air to slam it back down through the hoop.
8. Alley-Oop to Lakers Demise
I could literally watch just this Lakers vs Clippers game over and over for the rest of my life and and be happy. But you almost have to feel sorry for Wesley Johnson as he has a herd of Clippers bearing down on him, Chris Paul up the middle with the ball and Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan on either side. The pack closed in and Blake Griffin launches up to throw down this vicious slam.
7. Triple B
Blake Griffin can run this court and it’s about time he earns that respect. Here Griffin shows his quickness on defense by snatching the ball out of the air mid pass to bring the ball up toward the half court. Reggie Bullock is racing towards the basket and Griffin finds him by picking up his dribble, crossing the ball to his left hand to follow through with a behind-the-back pass between two Pacers defenders and to the wide open Bullock for the clean finish.
6. The Holy Trinity
Jamal Crawford starts this explosive play by lobbing the ball from free throw line to free throw line to the awaiting hands of Matt Barnes who quickly dishes it to the speeding demon is Griffin for yet another dunk.
5. Double Dunk Windmill Whammy
So here is why this set of glorious dunks is particularly fantastic. In the first windmill of amazingness Chris Paul actually bounces the ball off the glass to the elevated Blake Griffin for an unbelievable ground shaking throw-down. Then, Blake Griffin not only finishes with yet another windmill of amazingness (as they shall henceforth be called), but he sets it up for himself with a slick behind-the-back pass and cuts into the key to receive the lob from Paul.
It only makes sense to follow back to back windmill dunks by raising the bar by one. In this match up against the Golden State Warriors we see Griffin’s defensive ability on the court as well as his pure, beastly athleticism. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, in under ONE minute get three back-to-back-to-back alley-oops off steals from the Warriors.
3. Sick Handles
Blake Griffin should have gotten credit for this assist anyway, but it doesn’t change the fact that Griffin is starting to show this league that he’s not just good for dunks. His agility and ball handling here for a guy his size is glorious with a quick behind-the-back crossover, followed by a quick pivot to lose his defender and dish the ball the an open Matt Barnes as the defense collapsed on Griffin in the key. He should have put up the shot, but dished it to Chris Paul who immediately returned it and Barnes sinks the shot.
2. Defy Gravity
I was lucky enough to witness this dunk in person and can say that even though this is an exact recording of it, it does it no justice. You had to be there to watch Blake Griffin appear out of nowhere and hang midair to find the ball before just destroying the rim. Go by the crowd’s reaction, this was INSANE. And not only does it showcase his best skill, dunking like a beast, but also shows his awareness of the court and ability to work off and with his team mates. Outstanding.
1. The Mailman Tribute
I’m a bit disappointed that the crowd didn’t seem to realize how amazing this dunk was even if only as a tribute to Karl Malone. Maybe they don’t remember that Malone had dunks that could put even Blake Griffin to shame. But as a friendly reminder, Griffin sank this tribute dunk but to follow is the original – accompanied by appropriately epic music.
Get ready for chills.