One of the crappier things about the early part of this NBA season is that for much of it, Blake Griffin hasn't really looked like Blake Griffin. Too many Clippers games have seen Griffin floating around the perimeter, turning in uninspiring performances heavy on the mid-range jumpers and light on the dunks. But last night, while scoring 45 points (including the game-winning three) in a highly entertaining overtime win against the Suns, Griffin was smashing shit like the old days.
Griffin's big highlight was that game-winning three that he somehow willed into the basket as time expired in overtime, but once you're done marveling at that shot, please enjoy this dunk he threw down late in the third quarter:
That's a classic Blake Griffin dunk—sudden and powerful in a way that makes you sit up straight in your chair, and reckless enough that you can't help but worry for his physical well-being—and it's a sight that this NBA season has been sorely lacking. Griffin's been spending a lot more time trying to snipe points from outside—NBA.com has him netting 28 percent of his points from mid-range twos this season, up from 17.8 percent last season—and there haven't been as many soul-snatching dunks to enjoy.
But Griffin was on his old stuff last night, hurtling himself around in the paint and showing the Suns front court what it feels like to have to guard a very violent rhinoceros. He still shot a fair amount of jumpers, but he hit eight of his twelve shots at the rim, and bullied his way to the free-throw line 17 times.
Mastery of the outside jumper will no-doubt make Griffin a more complete player, and he's clearly committed to getting it down. But it's always nice when he decides to just play the hits and approach every possession like he's hunting for some poor fool's face to dunk on.