The Clippers are exciting. They’re coming into their own. They’re a game away from eliminating the Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs. If they can keep Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan in place, they’ll keep on being exciting – and winning – for years to come. But as well as things are going in Clipperland – and really, how often have you been able to say that, ever? – there’s something they’re doing that’s not so great. More and more people are noticing, and last night, it was impossible to miss – the Clippers are a bunch of floppers.
And Griffin is one of the most frequent offenders – so much so that after one particularly obvious dive last night, color analyst Chris Webber couldn’t bite his tongue. Webber explained how when he was in the league, he played on a team that was notorious for flopping (it’s okay, C-Webb, you can just say Vlade Divac’s name) and didn’t want the Clippers to go down that road:
He’s right – the flopping seems to be working right now, but if the Clippers become too notorious for it – and they seem to be knocking on the door already – it could stop helping them right quick. Teams already want to foul Griffin hard for his dunks – why give opponents more reasons to get pissed off? And that doesn’t even get into how basketball in general is better when teams just play the game instead of worrying too much about trying to sell every call. And rest assured, opponents are taking notice:
If it’s deployed judiciously, flopping might be seen as the stuff of a cagey veteran, the type who knows how to do the oft-talked-about “little things that don’t show up in the box score.” Clearly, the Clippers are past that point. If they keep it up, maybe they’ll keep winning, but it’ll be less fun to watch them do it… and the league will have it out for them. And considering how fun to watch the Clippers should be, that would be a shame.
Hollins video by CJ Fogler.