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Blake Griffin shows Al Horford he could start for Steelers Sunday, loses game

Feb 5, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Atlanta Hawks

In a development that’s certain not to spark useless debates between people regarding the words “excessive,” “soft,” and “good hard fouls,” Blake Griffin fouled the ever loving mercy out of Al Horford on a last second game-winning drive attempt. Griffin went straight up, kind of, rose both arms to block the shot, made a play on the ball, then made contact, demolished Horford into pieces, then followed through with his arms all the way to the floor.

The sickening “whump” of Horford’s back hitting the floor pretty much put the cap on the whole horrific scene which was less of a standard foul and more of the fouling equivalent of one of Griffin’s dunks. Griffin was charged with a flagrant foul. Horford finally, somehow, someway, shook off what was obviously intense pain and hit both free throws. The Hawks inbounded. Game over.

The video, sirs and madams:

So yeah, that’s a basketball snuff film.

The debate will obviously center around whether Griffin deserved the flagrant foul, as he clearly made a play on the ball. The debate will again turn to the definition of “excessive” and everyone will focus more on Griffin’s angle of trajectory rather than anything he does with his arms and hands before or after the shot attempt, and will equally ignore his follow through (check out the :47 second mark, specifically.

But the flagrant was within reason, considering the recklessness, which Griffin is both reknown and terrified because of, and the chance of injury for the opposing player. The other side will naturally draw comparisons to Chris Bosh talking about not diving for a loose ball. The fact that this is irrelevant will be lost on them, and instead we’ll turn to arguing the definition of “tough.”

Ah, Blake Griffin. Ushering in a new era of the same arbitrary debates.

In an unrelated note, foul or no foul, flagrant or not flagrant, can you believe Horford hit those free throws after that hit? Are you watching Dwight Howard?

  1. stuckonwords - Feb 5, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Uhh…Matt? You missed one teeny little detail: you forgot to include the link to the video.

  2. jimsjam33 - Feb 5, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Looks like DeAndre Jordan was stuck in the mud and couldn’t play defense when Horford went around him . Blake Griffin left his man to contest an uncontested dunk at that point . It was a foul , but it wasn’t flagrant . The main issue is that a flagrant foul gave the ball back to the Hawks with .6 seconds left . the Clippers had a 20 left and would have had the last shot . The Refs made a very bad call .

  3. excitedstate - Feb 5, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    He launched himself into Horford. Just because his arms were vertical initially doesn’t make it less of a tackle. Wind-up, follow-through. Flagrant foul.

  4. stuckonwords - Feb 5, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Thanks for the video.

    Yeah, I’m pretty surprised that’s a flagrant. When you go up like that, arms extended high, and then are falling to the ground, your natural reaction is to bring your arms down. Unfortunately, Horford was between him and the court, and it seems to me Griffin’s arms just came down through Horford in trying to brace his own slam into the court. It looks a little worse because Griffin sort of keeps his arms extended, but I think that’s because of the tendency to want to show the refs you were extending your arms straight, so when he lands, it looks like he was deliberately trying to slam Horford down. You or I, though, might have bent our elbows on the way down, out of self-preservation, and have actually driven a hand right into the gut of Horford…which would’ve been much worse. But Griffin tries to maintain the impression of extended arms, and it ends up looking worse. Griffin actually took more of a beating the way he did it than he would have if he’d tried harder to brace his own collision with the floor.

  5. steelyres211 - Feb 5, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    It’s a foul, but not even close to being a flagrant. It’s two very large men colliding in mid-air, it’s not going to be a soft landing for either of them. Refs blew this one.

  6. avermaver - Feb 5, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    I didn’t see it as a flagrant until the last angle the last few seconds of the clip. That shows the momentum he threw into the guys body. Good call

  7. hardscramble - Feb 6, 2011 at 4:38 AM

    I can’t believe he didn’t get ejected. He could end a career with a foul like that. Why is Griffin’s foul any different from this one by J.R. Smith?

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/05/j-r-smith-tagged-with-punishment-for-an-on-court-offense-huh-something-new-every-day/

    The difference is that Griffin sells adds and merchandise for the NBA while J.R. Smith does not. It’s the same reason Kevin Garnet didn’t get suspended for the Lakers game after his cheap shot to Channing Fry’s, ahem, basketballs.

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/01/29/kevin-garnett-wont-be-suspended-for-hitting-channing-frye-in-the-junk-because-that-makes-sense/

    The NBA has no class anymore; it’s been replaced by greed. The last game I went to it was supposedly Diabetes Awareness Night then they proceeded to give away a years supply of McDonald’s food to the winner of a father-son trike race after the first quarter. Kind of missed the point there, where do people think childhood diabetes comes from? Not only that, but during the national anthem they actually projected the Wells Fargo logo on the court right next to the color guard. For god’s sake, don’t commercialize the national anthem.

    No class. Excessive greed. Lockout assured.

  8. mrklutch - Feb 6, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Since when is a hard foul called a flagrant? This is why the NBA is a joke. And to you people commenting, saying he should have been ejected? Are you kidding me? Take your panties and watch Desperate Housewives with you husbands. Two big men colliding in the air = a massive collision.

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