The Atlanta Hawks had a big victory over the Los Angeles Clippers last night. The difference-maker was Paul Millsap, who absolutely dominated big man Blake Griffin during the course of the game on both ends of the floor.
The Hawks did not make it easy for Griffin last night. All night the Hawks were badgering Griffin, forcing him to take tough shots and played a physical style of basketball that he did not seem to enjoy. Millsap toyed with him on numerous occasions on the offensive end of the court during the game. When Millsap caught the ball on the inside and saw that Griffin was guarding him, he went right by the soft power forward for an easy basket.
Griffin had no answer for Millsap and it showed when you looked at the box score. Millsap was 12-for-20 from the floor with 25 points, nine rebounds, six assists, one steal and three blocks on the night. Folks, that is an impressive game and it came against arguably one of the best power forwards in the game. Just ask Doc Rivers about Millsap’s performance last night. If you watched the game, all you saw was a frustrated coach who yelled and threw up his arms almost every time the Hawks were on the offensive end. The Clippers looked lost all night on the defensive end and were searching for answers, but the problem is that one of their players doesn’t bring the physicality aspect to his game. Griffin was exposed as the soft power forward that he is by another forward who relentlessly attacked the basket at will.
Defensively, Millsap had the task of guarding Griffin and did a fantastic job on that end of the court as well. Millsap contained the big man and forced Griffin to become more of a jump shooter. Griffin did hit a few of those jump shots and finished with a respectable 24 points and seven rebounds, but he was outplayed by Millsap. As soon as the game got physical, Millsap upped his game and brought the intensity needed. However, Griffin did the exact opposite allowing Millsap to exert his will.
Millsap had more rebounds, easier shots and more blocks than his high-flying opponent who seems to be just that, a high-flying and athletic dunking machine who’s not a superstar. Millsap is the better player and the Hawks sure are glad to have him on their team. Oh, and the Hawks are not nearly paying the price that the Clippers are for their supposed superstar.