Smack / Jul 14, 2009 / 3:41 am

Blake Griffin goes off in his Vegas debut, and Allen Iverson to L.A.?

Blake Griffin, Dime #49

Blake Griffin, Dime #49

All eyes were on Blake Griffin yesterday, as he made his Vegas Summer League debut and pretty much lived up to every lofty expectation you could have put on him. Blake went for 27 points (11-15 FG) and 12 boards in 29 minutes, leading the Clippers to a win over the Lakers. He hit a three, dunked on a couple of dudes, showed a nice turnaround jumper, used the glass effectively a la Duncan, and showed he can also lead a fast break. Good thing there were plenty of cameras in the building; this could be the high point of the Clippers’ season … Eric Gordon put up 21 points (11-12 FT), Adam Morrison led the Lakers with 20, and we even had a Nik Caner-Medley sighting — he posted a double-double (12 pts, 11 rebs) for the Clips … Meanwhile, Blake’s brother Taylor Griffin started for the Suns and had a quiet four points and two rebounds against Dallas. The other “other brother” on the Suns, Robin Lopez, posted 24 points and 16 boards; putting Taylor behind the 8-ball if he wants to avoid being the worst sibling in the NBA. If Robin cracks Phoenix’s regular rotation during the season (and if Taylor makes the roster), it’ll be a race between the older Griffin and whichever Collins Twin you think sucks worse … But as good as Blake played, we can’t say he had the toughest matchup going up against Chinemelu Elonu and Ben McCauley. On the other hand, the head-to-head matchup to watch was between Brandon Jennings and Tyreke Evans. Jennings posted 13 points, 14 dimes and seven steals, next to Tyreke’s 33 points (17-19 FT), nine boards and seven dimes. We’d heard that these two also had a fierce one-on-one battle during a pre-draft workout for the Knicks, so this could be a budding rivalry. If it gives us a reason to watch a Bucks/Kings game, we’ve got no problem with that … Plays of the day: Jennings hitting Amir Johnson for a half-court alley oop; later hitting him for an ‘oop where Amir almost ripped the rim off; and then in the final 15 seconds with Milwaukee protecting a two-point lead, Jennings hit a three coming off a pick to ice it … In the Hedo Turkoglu Bowl, the Raptors beat the Blazers behind Quincy Douby‘s 20 points and DeMar DeRozan‘s 15 and six boards. Summer League Hall of Famer Jerryd Bayless put up 22 points and seven dimes for Portland, and Villanova product Dante Cunningham added 21 points and nine boards after getting over the initial shock of having teammates taller than 6-foot-4 … This year’s Bayless is turning out to be Stephen Curry; he’s had the green light since Day One with the Warriors’ summer squad, and from what we’re seeing, it’s gonna be tough for even Nellie to keep him on the bench once the season starts. Curry dropped 23 points (7-19 FG), seven boards, five steals and four assists in a blowout against Detroit yesterday. Anthony Randolph had 21 points, 10 boards and three blocks … Wolves GM David Kahn owes his fans another open letter explaining how their team lost to a patchwork group of D-League guys. Othyus Jeffers (Dime #49) and Gary Forbes scored 20 apiece to lead the D-League Select Team over the Wolves. Wayne Ellington dropped 22 points (8-14 FG, 4-7 3PA) for Minnesota, while Jonny Flynn had 12 points, 14 dimes and six turnovers …

Marcin 'Money' Gortat (Orlando Sentinel)

Marcin 'Money' Gortat (Orlando Sentinel)

We get the feeling that maybe two years from now — or, depending on how good or bad he starts the season, six months from now — the Marcin Gortat contract will be viewed as a complete joke or a resounding home run. The Magic decided to match Dallas’ five-year, $34 million offer sheet, retaining the guy who is either the biggest sleeper or the most overrated free agent in the ’09 class. In Gortat’s defense, this isn’t like one of those inexplicable bad decisions only Isiah Thomas or Billy King could make, or a case of bad teams reaching on a player with the slightest bit of potential. These are two very good teams going after him … And in what world do we live in where Marcin Gortat is a more desirable free agent than Allen Iverson? Still no solid offers on the table for a guy who just one season ago averaged 26 points, seven assists and two steals a night on a playoff team, but now it’s been reported the Clippers are in the mix. We’ve asked the question regarding Stephon Marbury, and we’ll ask it again with Iverson: Has he really fallen off as a player THAT much, or is A.I. a victim of bad press and a bad reputation that’s finally caught up to him? … NBA TV was replaying old All-Star Weekend dunk contests all day on Monday, which gave us a new appreciation for Terrence Stansbury and Jerome Kersey, two of the more underrated dunkers of the ’80s. (Stansbury had more than just the Statue of Liberty cram.) During the ’88 contest — a.k.a. the epic Michael Jordan vs. Dominique Wilkins showdown in Chicago — after Jordan does the “Kiss the Rim” dunk, one of the announcers actually says, “I call that the Chinese Superman dunk. He comes in sideways, so there’s a little SLANT on the dunk.” And nobody missed a beat. If that had been said in 2008, that guy would never work in TV ever again, and his partners would be frozen with the Mike Myers “What the f*** did Kanye just say?” face … We’re out like the Collinses …

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    J. Flynn might be good as advertised.

  • Sambuu

    Chinese Superman Dunk!!!

  • alf (from melmak)

    Dime, how did you referred to the Collins twins before? I thinks you said they were the “Garbage Twins”. That answer’s your question on the worst siblings.

    AI to the Clippers? Sounds good on paper but then I remembered the team is cursed. Would not be surprised if Blake Griffin tore an ACL in Vegas.

    My meal allowance says Milsap will start at the 4 for the Jazz with D-Will, Rip, Prince, and Memo completing the starting unit. That would be like Detoit in Utah. Ah! Take me back to dreamland.

  • Soopa

    “…his partners would be frozen with the Mike Myers “What the f*** did Kanye just say?” face”

    Haha :D

  • sh!tfaced

    Marcin Gortat is the new Jon Koncak.

  • That’s whats up

    Marcin Gotpaid

    I think he had a movie role in Eastern Promises

    Blake Griffin don’t seem so bright, but his game is very tight.
    Clippers could crack 30 wins this year. Bring back Cassell and they could make a playoff appearance

  • gary

    knicks shoulda took jennings @ the 8.man!!!!

    and thath chinese superman ish…!!ahhhh

  • K Dizzle

    Just a little dose of realitry about this:

    “and from what we’re seeing, it’s gonna be tough for even Nellie to keep him on the bench once the season starts”

    It’s nice that Curry is avg’in 22/gm but shootin 7-19, 8-22, and 4-14 (34.5% for the summer so far) might be a problem in Golden State where every other scorer except Anthony Randolph(who’s been efficiently gettin his) is a volume scorer. Steph ain’t gettin 18 shots a game playin with Randolph, Capt. Jack, Maggette and Monta. Now’s a good time to work on the distribution skills cuz we know dude can fill up and nobody else in that lineup givin up the rock. It’s ok to get your shine makin others look good. Shoot, Nash got an MVP doin just that…cuz these summer shot totals end on Halloween

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    GS puts up a lot of shots by not playing any D–who wants to wait to shoot?

    It’s sad what’s happening with AI…

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    wtf is Eric Gordon doing in summer league…? Is he bored or something?

  • Kobeef


    I was gonna say the same thing. Curry is putting up points but he looks like he is not going to be a scoring machine in the NBA where he will face guys bigger and stronger than him every night. I’m not buying the Stephen Curry hype….

    Speaking of hyped players, sure Johnny Flynn put up 14 assists but he commited 7 turnovers in the process…

  • the_don_mega

    nice thought… how’d you get off 18 shots a game with Bad Porn on the same team…

  • Steve Nasty

    AI is poison…he is too old to be hoggin the ball all game long.

  • sh!tfaced

    time for AI to follow the footsteps of bob mcadoo, bill walton, david robinson and shaq. former league mvp’s who went on and took supporting roles for championship teams…


    D@mn the Pistons summer league team did play yesterday too.

  • garbageman33

    iverson certainly didn’t do himself any favors last year when he said he’s not a bench player. because that’s exactly what he is. a vinnie “microwave” johnson type. but until he can cede the spotlight, he’ll be looking for a job.

  • garbageman33

    btw, summer league is like the ymca. every summer, you see some 17 year old kid absolutely dominating the businessmen playing on their lunch hours. but in this case, the businessmen are guys like nick caner medley.

  • That’s whats up

    Johnny Flynn had 14 assists and seven turnovers, but that probably mean he at least tried to pass the ball 21 times. There are a lot of point guards in the league that don’t pass the ball 21 times inside a five game stretch. I worry about Flynn’s size and as a defensive liability; I don’t worry about his offensive production. He has a strong game. But, he’s in Minnesota so they are bound to screw it up pretty bad no matter what they do

  • Big North

    AI is a victim of his style of play. It’s all good when your 22 and can be considered the centerpiece of the frnachise to be built around. But the same game when you’re 32 (even though still as effective) doesn’t wash. His game is dominating wich is good when someone is trying to build around you but at that age unless you’ve been with the same team all your life you cant be that no more.

  • Arno

    “in what world do we live in where Marcin Gortat is a more desirable free agent than Allen Iverson?”

    Probably is it that basketball is not a stats game (like fantasy leagues ball), but a team game. And it’s all about chemistry and putting the ball in the right hands at the right time.
    Obviously the Pistons played better without him and the Nuggets were way better with Chauncey than with AI. Which made some GM think before signing him.

  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla

    After watching the 86′ and 88′ dunk contest… one thing I can say is that my man Nique is highly over rated as a dunk champ. He and Clyde Drexler had no sense of creativity after the windmills. Clyde Basically copied the dunk of the person in front of him (usually MJ) and Dominique pretty much did a wind mill any time he couldn’t think of a dunk. That’s kind of lame, but that’s probably because they were coming off the top of their heads.

    Also Dee Brown had some of the sickest dunks for a guy who is 6’1″. That two handed 360 he did, shytted on my man Kenny Smiths (big up to Kenny for some nasty dunks himself).

  • doc

    Blake showed his ass.Gortat will barely get off the pine after January.Book it.

  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla

    oh and Iverson should just retire, he’s useless now. He needs too many shots to be effective. Starbury is a 5pt 2 asst a game player now. He should go overseas and collect some money then retire.

  • alex

    “the Marcin Gortat contract will be viewed as a complete joke or a resounding home run.”

    what else is there? that’s the only 2 possible outcomes anyway.

    Iverson is not a victim of bad press. Do you actually think team executives rely on information from the press? He’s been in the league for more than 10 yrs now, and he’s been selfish from day 1. He can’t play team ball, and GM’s are concerned with his influence on the young players.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs Before Slamball

    people can’t really say AI is a ball hog when hes averaging 7 assists a game last season.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs Before Slamball

    i mean theres very few “stars” in the nba who don’t fall into the “hes only effectiv with the ball in his hands” area. Thats why their stars, cuz they have the green light to jack more shots than the other guys on the team. Any “scorer” is effective with the ball in his hands…kobe, wade, dirk, Agent Zero, etc..and how many of them are averagiin 7 assists for a season?

  • dk

    So’eone should check some stats before they post or write an article. It makes you people look ignorant. Gortats a solid 7 footer with real nice per 48 digits. Every coach knows hes a double double…

  • dk

    Iversons a ball hog

  • Dr.gOOgles

    He def could become more effective off the bench. Which he doesnt wants to accept.

  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla

    Any “scorer” is effective with the ball in his hands…kobe, wade, dirk, Agent Zero, etc..and how many of them are averagiin 7 assists for a season?

    I agree, but the only negative to Iverson is his FG% and shot selection. Sure he has hovered around the 42-44% shooting range recently, but you have to center your offense around him just to get that. Not to mention the amount of points he gives up because he doens’t play any defense.

  • danny

    Too bad “7 assists” does not make someone a ballhog or not. Stephon marbury averaged a lotta assists and he’s a dumb ballhog. Iverson’s a lil better, but still..a ballhog. If you EVER have watched A.I. play on ANY of the teams he’s been on..he dribbles, crosses over, dribbles some more, AND if only someone’s right next to the basket for around 5 secs, will he pass the ball. Players don’t like playing with him, coaches don’t want to coach him, and 10 years this guy still has the court vision of a shooting guard. Pathetic.

  • parker

    re Iverson,
    I wouldn’t mind seeing him with the Clips. AI + Griffin + Camby would remind of Theo+ Mutumbo + AI when they got to the NBA championship.

  • JayTea

    What has AI ever done but got his? He isn’t a winner. Why would you want him, he subtracts by addition.

  • LakeShow84

    @ Parker

    Dont forget that was in the East..

    Any back court with AI and B-Dizzle would make noise.. well for the first 30 games and then spontaneously combust into injuries but it’d work in the beginning!

  • LakeShow84

    @ Bron..

    Wade averaged 7 assts.. and Kobe’s right behind him @ 5apg..

    Then only difference with Iverson is if he isnt scoring he is USELESS out there and becomes a detriment to the teams success.. Other real SUPERSTARS like Lebron, Kobes, Dwade, Duncan dont need to be scoring to be effective cuz they can play good D and make other good plays..

    When AI goes into a shooting funk he’ll shoot his team out the game.. and not give a f#$k..

  • JH

    I hope AI lands somewhere fast…he isn’t the best “team player” but hell…he’d be as good a 6th man as any. Other than age…how is AI much different than Nate Robinson?

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    AI is the victim of the economy. Every team in the league would love to have Iverson but are just trapped for cash or have priorities signing other players. If this is 2 years ago like when he first left Denver every team in the league would be looking to add him. Let’s name the guards in the league that can get you 20 + points a game. Off the top of my head there’s Kobe, Wade, Rip, Ray Allen, Roy, Ginobili. Can anyone think of somebody else go ahead I’m waiting…still no huh? Exactly that’s elite company right there. Sure there are some guards that can reach that platue on some nights but averaging that is rare.

  • garbageman33

    shit, i’ll get you 20 a game if you let me dribble the air out of the ball and jack it up whenever i feel like it, 40% fg percentage be damned. ai is a chucker. just like george costanza.

  • Oscarisalakerfan

    Has ne LA fan followed Ron Artest on twitter… He is hilarious…
    This pic had me pretty surprised…

  • Three Stacks

    Why is everyone making such a big deal about Gortat’s contract now that Orlando matched the offer? No one blinked an eye when Dallas signed him last week. Nothing has changed, he’s getting paid the EXACT SAME AMOUNT as reported a week ago…but why is everyone getting all crazy about the money now?

  • Reno Hightower

    Fnally some Terrence Stansbury love.

  • K Dizzle

    If AI would just swallow his pride and offer to come off the bench, 30 teams would be ringin his phone off the hook. All the hype about Curry, Iverson’s obviously better and if AI wouls come off the bench in a Nate-Rob, JR Smith or Leandro Barbosa kinda role, he’d be valuable. Imagine dude on the 2nd unit of the Lakers, Spurs, Cavs, Celts or Magic, he’d be house money

  • http://www.luckylester.com Lucky Lester

    The Spurs could use AI. Laugh now, sure, but you know he’s keep his mouth shut with Pop-a-bitch coaching him up – San Antone could use him, and a team with a strong vet presence and a tough coach would be perfect. LA is a bad place for the guy. He’s too strong a personality and would probably end up killing that idiot dunleavy ala spree and carlisimo. Chicago could use him in Ben Gordon’s role – lets be honest, you give AI that green light and he’d be at least as effective as Gordon. He’ll find a home, and he’ll end up a starter, and while he might not be one of the NBA’s best anymore, he’ll still put the ball in the hole.

  • http://www.luckylester.com Lucky Lester

    AI should go to Olympikos or somewhere else in Euprope and dominate.