Heat’s Joel Anthony contains Blake Griffin with lockdown defense
If Joel Anthony of the Heat is now called “The Warden” . . . was he able to put Blake Griffin in lockup Sunday?
“No, I wouldn’t say all that,” said the soft-spoken Anthony. “I was just out there doing my job.”
His effectiveness has gone beyond the job he did on Griffin in the Heat’s 97-79 victory over the Clippers; that was just a continuation of a strong showing this past month. Griffin struggled from the field, going seven for 17 in scoring 21 points.
“[On] his drives, you just try to keep him away from the basket,” Anthony said. “Obviously he’s really good once he’s able to get within the rim. He’s got that takeoff area where he’s pretty hard to stop. You just try to limit that.
“We did a pretty good job. There were some instances where he was able to get those offensive rebounds and things that kept him going.”
The Heat’s Chris Bosh, who had 16 points and seven rebounds, was his usual amusing self when talking about Griffin.
“He’s in that zone right now where he can jump really high a bunch of times,” Bosh said. “As you get older in the league, you can start taking inches off that vertical.”
Bosh and his teammates have watched Griffin’s progress.
“He’s figuring out how to do it right now,” Bosh said. “And you know he goes to the boards every time. Sometimes it’s very tough to keep him off. Most of the time you just want to stay between him and the basket. You don’t want to give up dunks because that really gets him going.”
Said Dwyane Wade: “Now he’s starting to understand the game more. He’s starting to see what he can do with opportunities besides dunking the ball. Now he’s working with his midrange jumper. The guy is going to be as good as he wants to be. L.A. has got them a gem.”
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