Just when you think Blake Griffin has reached as high as one rookie can go, he kicks it up another notch. We know all about the spectacular dunks and athletic plays, but Griffin proved today there's also a lot of substance to his play. He scored an NBA season-high 47 points, leading the Clippers to a 114-107 win over the Indiana Pacers on MLK Day.
Griffin's stellar performance becomes even more amazing when you consider a couple key things working against him. First and foremost, the Pacers are an excellent defensive team, ranking eighth in the league in fewest points allowed per 100 possessions. Griffin had to go up against physical defenders like Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Foster and James Posey, all of whom were clutching at him all night. And yet, he still score 47.
But what's probably more remarkable is that Griffin had just one dunk the entire game. Instead, he was using legitimate post moves, going to a bank shot on several occasions and showing some creativity below the rim. This was not a man who was scoring based solely on his athleticism. This was a man who was doing it with other skills as well.
Throw in the fact that this was a second game of a back-to-back (after a game against the Lakers no less), and it was easily the most impressive performance of the entire season. Maybe comparisons to Larry Bird aren't totally off the mark.