LOS ANGELES Blake Griffin can leap so high and with so much force that he almost suspends belief, along with the laws of gravity. But the Clippers on Thursday gleaned something new about their franchise player besides being a transcendent talent and a marketing dream.
Griffin, it appears, has a backbone.
After getting belted, whacked, thumped and otherwise assaulted during the last week, Griffin showed in an otherwise hum-drum, 97-85 drubbing of undermanned New Orleans that he can dish it out as well as he can take it.
When Griffin went up to contest a drive to the basket by New Orleans forward Trevor Ariza, he not only catapulted above Ariza, he drove him to the floor with a blow from his forearm.
The blow drew a whistle for a flagrant foul 1 from the officials, the ire of Ariza and a rebuke from New Orleans coach Monty Williams. But it drew nods of approval from his teammates, who had begun to wonder how much abuse Griffin would take after getting clobbered with a forearm by ...