Blake Griffin grabs triple-double as Clippers snap losing streak
The Los Angeles Clippers have had a rocky road to start the season. If losing superstar Chris Paul to another contender in their conference wasn’t bad enough, the Clippers have also been tasked with handling the loss of his replacement, Milos Teodosic, and his filler, Patrick Beverlry.
With their roster depleted and in the midst of a nine-game skid, All-Star Blake Griffin swooped in to the rescue and led his team past the Atlanta Hawks 116-103. The athletic power forward had 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 dimes to finish the game with a well-earned triple-double.
Los Angeles was playing devoid of a true floor general, but Griffin rose to the occasion and played the role of primary facilitator to a T. With the better half of Lob City wheeling, dealing and slashing through the defense, it was hardly noticeable that their point guards were sidelined with injuries.
At the beginning of the season, the Clippers marched out to a 4-0 record, and though it seemed the franchise would survive through the end of the Chris Paul era, the glaring hole left by his absence quickly became apparent.
Heading into Wednesday night, they’d gone an atrocious 1-11 since their brief undefeated stretch to kick off the year. Winning on Wednesday brought Los Angeles their first victory in over three weeks, and it might be just what they need to turn their season around.
Atlanta has done their own share of losing this season on their way to a pitiful 3-15 record. Pulling off a win against such a sorry team is no feat to brag about, but the struggling Clippers will take what they can get.
Although he’s made multiple All-Star teams, it’s long been a point of debate whether Blake Griffin can successfully lead a franchise as its best player. As the losses continue to pile up, it’s worth wondering whether his doubters were right all these years.
Griffin has 64 games left to flip the script and prove he’s more than a complementary star in need of a greater player to steer the ship. Whether he can pull it off or not in that timeframe is unclear.
It’s never been a question of talent. The sky is the limit for Blake Griffin, but we’ve known that since the Clippers took him first overall in the 2009 draft.
Paul is gone and there’s no one left to defer to. He has a variety of tools in his bag of tricks, but he needs come out every night ready to use them.
He’s no longer the bright-eyed 20-year-old from Oklahoma that Los Angeles drafted, so it’s time to stop acting like it and step up to the plate. One great game is nice, but if he wants to legitimize his superstar status he’ll need to show out for an entire season.
Nobody said it’d be easy, but becoming one of the best doesn’t happen overnight, that’s why there are so few all-time greats. It’s time for Griffin to stop looking around for answers and build his own legacy away from CP3.