I’m not a big fan of using a post to tut-tut a player and tell them how to act on the court, or off it. But this moment in last night’s Clippers-Pacers game just brought out the high-and-mighty in me.
Here’s a summary: Blake Griffin takes a hard foul from Tyler Hansbrough, then seems to either be trying to karate roll to his feet or SWEEP THE LEG on doe-eyed Hansbrough. He isn’t exactly mister likeability, and Blake Griffin shows what a special player he is by making Hansbrough seem sympathetic.
But here’s the best part. Take it away, Caron Butler!
Now this can be taken as Caron playing the peacemaker, I guess.
It’s like when a kid scrapes his knee. You might run over and sympathize, but that can just escalate the situation. Sometimes the best thing is just to laugh it off and make it seem like no big deal. It’s a strategy that can save some tears, take from a veteran camp counselor. It can also lead to untreated broken bones and the firing of said camp counselor, but that’s neither here nor there.
In this case I suspect something far less altruistic in Caron’s grin. His reaction speaks to what seems to be a lack of seriousness about the Clippers. On a team for which consummate leader Chris Paul handles the ball for about 95% of each possession, that’s a bit surprising.
We can of course blame coach Vinny Del Negro, whose upbeat charm works better on a certain 30 win team than on a potential 50 win team in need of stern instruction. With this group, he’s like a director who just can’t coax the right spirit from his cast, or simply is tone deaf to the requirements of the film.
This Clipper team says its lines with feeling, but the production feels contrived and hollow. Not even a virtuoso performance from Paul and Griffin’s one-way brilliance makes the viewing enjoyable.
You don’t have to boo them, but there’s no getting around it. These Clippers are Hollywood as hell.
PS- Hansbrough had 17 points on 7-10 shooting and the Pacers won easily.