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Clippers' Blake Griffin struggles with his shot

The power forward has some trouble during the Clippers' game against the Lakers on Sunday.

January 16, 2011|By Lisa Dillman

Even dominating power forwards get the blues….

Nothing seemed to be going right for Blake Griffin on Sunday and he even expressed that to Vinny Del Negro in the second half against the Lakers, which resulted in an animated reaction from the Clippers coach.

"He was struggling a little bit with his shot," Del Negro said. "There were a couple of questionable things there, could have got some calls. There was a timeout on the court and he was going on the court, 'I don't have it.'

"I said, 'Blake, when you're open, you shoot the ball. I don't care if you miss every one; you've got to play with confidence. You've got to be aggressive. I'm going to throw you the ball every time. You've got to make plays.' "

Del Negro, smiling, said he wasn't yelling but coaching.

"I didn't let the Italian get out in me," Del Negro said. "People forget he's a rookie. You take it for granted sometimes. He's 21 years old. He's a kid.

"Eric Gordon has been in the league for three years and he just turned 22. Everything is on their shoulders. And they know that and they've been terrific. We've just got to find a way to get more guys involved."

The Lakers' Kobe Bryant and Gordon share the same management agency, and Bryant talked about how Gordon is developing right before everyone's eyes.

"When he first got here, this team was a mess," Bryant said. "He was trying to figure out his way through it. Now they seem to have an identity. They know how they want to use him. He knows what his role is. I think that makes it a lot easier for him."

Bryant, incidentally, said almost the same things about the Clippers that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade said Wednesday after Miami lost to the Clippers.

"They pay attention to the big games," Bryant said. "Clipper fans can really get excited if they start paying attention to detail of some of the teams that aren't as marquee games. Then you really have something special. That's some of the hardest things to do, is pay attention to teams that aren't as good."

Etc.

Bryant closed the door on any debate about Griffin being in the All-Star game and said it would be a joke if he was not in it.

"What more do you want from him?" Bryant said.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson compared Griffin to Amar'e Stoudemire, early Amar'e. "Everything was a dunk, everything was in close," Jackson said. "But [Griffin] is a little more skilled than Amar'e even was at that time, with the ability to spin and do some other things."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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