With only one game during the calendar week, the Pistons will enjoy the closest thing to a bye week as you’ll ever see in the NBA.
They need it, too. Especially Blake Griffin whose herculean effort thus far seems to be taking a considerable toll on the ole gas tank.
During the 113 - 103 loss to Charlotte over the weekend, MSU’s Miles Bridges’ emphatic fourth quarter dunk with just under nine minutes remaining did two things: sent those in attendance towards the exits and, for the first time this year, caused me to change the channel.
Of course I came crawling back after a quick channel surf proved fruitless, but wish I hadn’t.
Blake Griffin, frustrated by a lack of favorable whistles, committed a huge basketball no-no less than two minutes after Bridges’ dunk when he undercut a defenseless Malik Monk:
In turn, and sense there is a lack of schedule action (and no available film!), I’m going to do what bloggers do best and make a mountain out of a molehill.
Even the most forgiving interpretation of Griffin’s low-blow would still be described as completely reckless. I’m not that lenient. It was a dirty play from a guy who I’ve come to expect more from. Speaking only for myself, I have zero interest in watching or supporting that brand of basketball. Griffin owns a well-documented history of immature extra-curricular activities but nothing, at least to my knowledge, along the lines of the cheap shot he laid on the helpless Monk.
It wasn’t Griffin’s fault that Monk broke his thumb over the summer, but had Monk re-aggravated the injury on his free fall, there would’ve been a lot of justified pissed off Hornets fans buzzing around the league. Just because Monk didn’t injure himself on the play doesn’t mean Griffin shouldn’t be punished. It’s either an OK act or it’s not, and it shouldn’t depend on the well-being of the dude who got hammered. A one game suspension would be well-deserved and then we can all move on.
What grinds my gears - maybe even more so than the actual play itself - is the “tough” label associated by some with sequences like that. There is nothing courageous about it. If anything, it’s a cowardly act. Tough would be (figuratively) tackling the day’s problems head on, you know, like a leader. The real problem on Sunday had nothing to do with Malik Monk.
Instead, Griffin chose the easy way out. Rarely can “easy” be found in the same sentence as “tough.”
Hey, while we’re all here, let’s clear up something else up, shit like this ain’t tough either:
To me, it loudly screams “I’m not good enough to play defense”. Clothesline me when I’m looking and then we’ll see how tough you are.
The NBA, the league I absolutely love, is full of hold-me-back fighting intentions and always will be. It’s all an act as none of these guys want to actually throw hands because if they did, they would. When tensions do actually escalate on the court and a “fight” breaks out, it’s more Chandler and Ross than Rocky and Apollo. No thanks. I don’t want to watch dudes who can’t fight anymore than I want to watch fighters who can’t ball.
It may seem odd coming from a Detroit Bad Boys contributor but I’m thankful the 80s version of defense is a thing of the past.
Untimely injuries can derail a season faster than any other variable. Whether it’s Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons or Malik Monk and the Charlotte Hornets, let’s control what we can control and not be dicks on the court. Deal?