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Win #15: Can the Nation Handle Success?

SP has family, virus, and perhaps the schelp back and forth to Staples:  who knows?  But come on, let's get a post up to talk about the victorious Clippers!  This game was  sweet for all sorts of reasons, but the first one that comes to mind is the way that the big win over the Heat was tempered by losing the shootout up at Golden State two nights later.  After beating the Lakers with a decisive 4th quarter the Clippers came back just 24 hours later to do take a modest amount of control in the 4th quarter and get a win.  Two in a row feels a lot better.  Another nice note is that Indiana played well, shot well, and they look like a pretty good basketball team, not unlike the Clippers with a couple of nice wins over the Heat and the Lakers and they blew out the Clips in their last meeting.  Not today.

And if I recall, that game was something of a subpar effort by a guy named Blake Griffin.  Today he was a little bit better, pretty good in fact.  Baron Davis continues to distribute the ball expertly and he added some timely offense with some big shots down the stretch, and Eric Gordon continues to be amazing, solid as a rock.  But yeah, Blake Griffin played a good game.

"Are you kidding me?!" as Mike Smith would say.  Blake Griffin was RIDICULOUS in today's matinee against the Pacers.  He had one of those magical games where the forces come together, things get easy, the ball just keeps going in the basket, and the bounces all go your way.  It was just an extraordinary game, as the Beast had 47 points and simply made shot after shot.  

And then when the game got tight down the stretch, and the Clippers were having a very difficult time putting Indiana away despite the fact that Griffin was sitting on 43 points and had been playing out of his mind all afternoon, he came up with two more tough baskets.  Baron Davis had to hit a couple of big shots before the Pacers finally went down, but it was simply a herculean effort by Blake Griffin.

In the end the Clippers took care of business.  They are thriving and they are formidable.  Griffin put up a remarkable banner headline in the game preceeding the arrival of his competitve stat machine, Kevin Love, as both of they are vying for All-Star nods.  Griffin is turning his own selection into not just a no-brainer, but he is also leading his team back into respectablility.

The rise of Blake Griffin and the Clippers raises some interesting issues.  We have to remember that dedicated, and thus long-suffering, citizens like ourselves are pretty few and far between.  The usual NBA fan, not to mention the Laker fan, can't really fathom the idea of Clipper excellence and good fortune.  

John Hollinger's remarks yesterday, that Blake Griffin was trying to get to 20 points yesterday as he tussled with Lamar Odom going after a rebound at the end of the game, which was one of his more absurd remarks, is a good example.  We all know that Blake Griffin isn't that kind of player.  And so he goes out the next day, on a back to back mind you, and puts up about as selfless a 47 point game as you will ever see.  It was Waltonesque, extremely efficient, everything coming within the flow of the game, a matter of hard work and hitting shots.  Nothing was forced.  

But as much as we might appreciate and find difficult to believe the good fortune of the Clippers and the greatness of Griffin, it's just not going to make sense to other people.  I can see people, well, getting sick of him.  He's too good, too relentless.  It gets worse.  He's too nice, too easy-going off the court, too friendly and supportive and much too humble.  If we're freaking out, what are other people thinking?  

On top of that, as I mentioned, no one will know what to do with a strong and steady Clipper team running off wins and moving steadily back into contention.  There's a long way to go and we don't want to get ahead of ourselves.  But I'm pretty confused myself.  1-13 was excrutiating, but at least it felt familiar.  The Clippers seem to be sailing into uncharted waters right now.  If it wasn't for their November handicap they would be one of the top teams in the league.  They have a bunch of really good guys on their roster, one of them an All-Star, who aren't even suiting up right now.

Can you handle it, citizens?  We'll just have to muddle through I suppose.

Go Clippers!  All hail the Beast!