Clippers' Blake Griffin addresses issue of hard fouls

The All-Star forward says there is 'not really' more he and his teammates can do to prevent the physical attacks he has endured this season. The Clippers host the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday.

April 21, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers power forward Blake Griffin flips a shot toward the basket after getting knocked to the court by Kings forward Donte Greene during the second half of a game earlier this month at Staples Center.
Clippers power forward Blake Griffin flips a shot toward the basket after… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

Blake Griffin's 6-foot-10, 251-pound body stood erect, his shoulders square, his movements ginger as he turned side to side to address more questions about the physical attacks he has endured.

Each time Griffin answered a question after practice Saturday, he moved his entire body in that direction, a sign that his neck was stiff and still sore from the flagrant-two foul committed against him by Phoenix center Robin Lopez during Thursday night's game.

"It still hurts a little bit," said Griffin, who plans to play Sunday when the Clippers host the New Orleans Hornets in their regular-season home finale. "It got a little better yesterday and we did some work on it today. Hopefully by tomorrow, once the game gets going, I'll be all right."

Griffin was going in for what he thought would be a breakaway layup midway through the fourth quarter when Lopez chased the Clippers' All-Star forward down and hooked him by the neck.

Griffin went down hard on the court, leading to Lopez being ejected.

For the last two days, there have been a lot of discussions about what more Griffin or his teammates should do to prevent those types of hard fouls.

Griffin was asked whether more should be done.

"Not really," he responded.

Interesting enough, when the Clippers play the Hornets on Sunday, it'll be the first time Griffin will face New Orleans forward Jason Smith since he committed a flagrant foul on Griffin.

Smith was ejected from that game last month and suspended for two games, one of them against the Clippers.

"I'm not going to say anything; I'm not going to do anything," Griffin said. "Right now we're playing for something bigger. We're trying to get a win and keep pushing in this playoff. So that's the last thing on my mind, really."

Griffin has been warned by his teammates that the physical play in the playoffs only intensifies.

"It's funny. Some people on the outside said I've got to get used to the hard fouls because that's how it's going to be in the playoffs," Griffin said. "But my teammates are saying how it's been all year is how it's going to be in the playoffs. So I think I'm kind of prepared for that from that aspect. "

Big game versus Hornets

The Clippers know what's at stake in this game against the Hornets.

The fourth-seeded Clippers are a half-game behind the third-seeded Lakers, who host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, in the Western Conference standings and one game head of the fifth-seeded Grizzlies before their game Saturday night against Portland in Memphis.

"We know what the standings are," Griffin said. "But it's not our biggest concern. As long as we win our games, then whatever they do is kind of irrelevant, in a sense. Obviously not in the standings and all that. But we just want home-court advantage and go from there."


Reggie Evans, who missed the last two games with the flu, practiced Saturday and will be available to play Sunday against the Hornets.

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