Blake Griffin faces many challenges against Dallas
Bring on the likes of bigs Tyson Chandler, Brendan Haywood and Dirk Nowitzki.
Yes, the challengers were sizable and many for Blake Griffin in the third game of his NBA career, this one against the Dallas Mavericks.
“Blake has enough ball skills to be more effective than he was tonight, there’s no question about that,” Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. “It’s a good learning curve for him. He guarded Dirk well at times. He took a charge in the second half, which was great.”
Griffin, like the rest of the Clippers, struggled. He felt it had more to do with him than Chandler.
“I just missed a bunch of easy shots,” Griffin said. “It wasn’t anything special or anything I’ve never seen. Just missed easy shots. We all did. That won’t continue to happen.
“The shots will fall, eventually. We’re not going to come out every game and miss all these easy shots.”
Said Del Negro: “Teams are going to scout him. They are going to play him different ways, and that’s the growing he’s going to go through. If guys are backing off him, he’s got to feel comfortable taking jump shots.”
Encouraging signs came from the Clippers’ bench, in particular, from DeAndre Jordan, who was four for six for 10 points and had five rebounds in nearly 20 minutes. Rookie forward Al-Farouq Aminu had nine points in 23-plus minutes and backup point guard Eric Bledsoe was a spark plug with six points. But he did have four turnovers.
Guard Randy Foye could be out anywhere from a week to two. He suffered a strained left hamstring in practice doing drills Saturday and felt a sharp pain, saying it was similar to Jordan’s injury in preseason.
“I just heard him say ‘Ow,’ and he hit the floor, crawling on the floor,” Bledsoe said.