Blake Griffin is a beast, and when he's driving to the basket with a full head of steam, it's almost impossible to stop him ... unless, I suppose, you simply ignore the rules of basketball (and sportsmanship) and shoulder tackle him to the ground. Roll tape!
via Royce Young
The strangest thing about the play is how Smith immediately raised his hands, as if to plead innocence. It didn't work: he was assessed a flagrant 2 foul, which entails an automatic ejection from the game. Smith, who exchanged words with several Clippers after the play, was contrite by the time he spoke with reporters after the game. From Jim Eichenhofer of Hornets.com:
Jason Smith apologized to Griffin for flagrant: "I didn't want to give him an easy layup (but) there are a ton better ways to go about it"— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) March 23, 2012
Smith's a big dude -- he's officially listed at 7-foot, 240 pounds -- so there's no reason why he couldn't simply wrap up Griffin with his arms, preventing Griffin from jumping or falling. Don't be surprised if the league office is thinking the same thing and Smith receives an additional fine and/or suspension.
Griffin avoided injury -- and hit the ensuing free throws -- but the Hornets held on, winning the game 97-90.