That was not a surprise.
Blake Griffin, the Clippers high-flying superstar, was largely held in check all night. That was a surprise. He was held to 15 points and had as many turnovers as rebounds (four).
He was a non-factor nearly the entire game. He had eight points with just over three minutes to play and the Pistons trailing by 10. The game wasn't over, but it would have taken some mighty heroics for the Pistons to pull out a win.
Then, Griffin made a nice play on defense, ran the floor and received an alley-oop slam. It seemed to put an exclamation point on the evening.
But Griffin wasn't done.
With the game all but decided with 26 seconds left, and the game assuredly over, Griffin tipped a ball out and suddenly only two Clippers were on the Pistons' end of the court -- Griffin and Matt Barnes. It was a gift-wrapped opportunity for a patented Griffin dunk and he and Barnes obliged. Barnes threw it off the glass and Griffin stuffed the carom back into the hoop, eliciting plenty of "ooohs" from whatever remained of the sparse Pistons crowd.
But Griffin wasn't done.
With the game DEFINITELY decided and the Pistons running an obligatory offensive set on their last possession Griffin tipped out a lazy entry pass by Brandon Knight and, with 20 seconds left in the game, ran the floor and again did his two-man fastbreak histrionics, this time with Chris Paul.
He could have run out the clock. He should have run out the clock. But he had a frustrating night and I guess wanted to fill up the stat sheet needlessly and make sure he solidified his status on SportsCenter's Top Plays.
He either felt guilty or was on the receiving end of a death stare from Chris Paul, one of the classier players in the league, because he half-heartedly took the pass under the hoop and double-clutched but just couldn't help himself. He had to dunk it. Because apparently that's all he does.
Seriously, screw you Blake Griffin. You played a mediocre game against a bad team. You didn't contribute anything to help your team beat one of the NBA's worst. You chased points and highlights on a team with championship aspirations.
Do you think Chris Paul cares about being in highlights? Do you think veterans like Grant Hill would have pulled that weak shit in his high-flying heyday? Do you think Chauncey Billups would have even given you the ball with 20 seconds left or hold it and leave you out there hanging like the obvious douche that you are?
As for the game? It went largely as expected. Pistons hung around, but lost. Detroit kept it close except for when it truly mattered in the fourth quarter.
Rodney Stuckey was out (back spasms) and Corey Maggette seems to have officially played his way out of the rotation so the Pistons deployed Will Bynum and Austin Daye in the rotation -- with results that you would largely expect (aka not good).
Knight played his typical brand of decent perimeter shooting (a team-high 16 points) with no clue how to run the offense or take care of the ball (five assists and five turnovers).
Greg Monroe was aggressive and assertive early, but didn't get nearly enough touches.
Still no Jonas Jerebko. But we did see some serious Drummond and Monroe action, especially in the second and third quarter.
Nothing really jumped out during the game except the hints that we might see more rotation adjustments in the near future. Oh yeah, and Blake Griffin is a raging asshole.
For more, visit Clips Nation.