This morning's contest between the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat features two of the most exciting players in the NBA. Blake Griffin has made a name for himself in his rookie season with his tenacious style and high-flying action, and whether hero or villain LeBron James is still must-watch television. Both players will figure prominently in two weeks at Staples Center when NBA All-Star Weekend comes to Los Angeles. Griffin, in addition to the game itself, for which he is a Western Conference reserve, will take part in three days worth of action, competing in the Rookie Challenge on Friday and the Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday.
Griffin had the NBA scoring high of 47 points...until LeBron topped that with 51 points against Orlando on Thursday. Both players will be the focal point of their teams today, so let's see what each side is saying about the other. John Krolik of ESPN's Heat Index had nothing but praise for Griffin:
The only thing more exciting than Griffin's performance were the glimpses Blake showed of how much better he can become. Only one of Griffin's nine field goals came from outside of the paint, and there were a few moments when Griffin blew a finish at the basket after freeing himself up with a beautiful up-and-under or spin move. Griffin's energy, athleticism, and intelligence have made him into one of the league's best power forwards as a rookie.
Meanwhile, Steve Perrin of Clips Nation marveled at LeBron's impact in two cities:
I guess he's pretty good. Thewent to the NBA Finals in 2007. They made it at least as far as the Conference semifinals the last five seasons. They won 61 games last season, best in the NBA. All of those things happened with a certain player on the team. This season, without that player, the Cavs just set a new NBA single season record with their 24th straight loss. So I guess is really good.
For more information on today's game, be sure to read Clips Nation.