The Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin still has his eye on the prize. It’s been six years since the former University of Southern California star stepped onto the court for the Los Angeles Clippers and since then, he’s been mostly relegated to the bench. His body, however, has held up, he’s played in the NBA Finals, and he’s still considered one of the best power forwards in the league.

The Los Angeles Clippers star has hit a rough patch this postseason. After losing the opening game of the first round to the Portland Trail Blazers, his team was swept by the Utah Jazz. (The Jazz eventually took the series in six games.) In all fairness to the franchise, Blake Griffin’s playoff career has been a roller-coaster ride. He has been a part of some of the most heated matchups in the NBA, including two classic David and Goliath encounters: the Clippers’ win over Steph Curry and the Warriors in 2014, and the Clippers’ loss to the Houston Rockets in the 2015 Western Conference Finals. However, in the six years since Griffin rose to prominence, his playoff performance has been extremely inconsistent. He has been

Blake Griffin came back in the NBA after a six year hiatus in LA, but he will need to wait a few more to win a championship with either the Clippers or the Warriors. After struggling in recent seasons with injuries and the Clippers, he wanted to play with a championship contender. He signed with the Warriors, and he is in good health, but he is also stuck in the middle of a fierce rivalry. During the offseason, he wanted to sign with the Clippers, but he was unable to do so.. Read more about nba standings and let us know what you think.When Blake Griffin agreed to forgo $13.3 million to end his contract with the Detroit Pistons a few months ago, he had resigned himself to the fact that he would no longer be a franchise player, both physically and mentally. But that doesn’t mean he can’t still contribute to the spirit. He felt he still had a lot to give, maybe a few more years if he was lucky, which he didn’t often have, to be honest. For that price, in dollars and ego, all he wanted was to be happy and play a basketball game of significance again. Saturday was Griffin’s first appearance in a semifinal in six years. It seemed even longer, as his days as the Lob City Clippers’ best player seem to exist only in YouTube videos. He played like he wanted to, throwing his whole body into the fray and fighting with the fervor necessary for the Brooklyn Nets to beat the Milwaukee Bucks four times. Griffin’s 18 points, 14 rebounds and critical rebounds helped the Nets to a 115-107 win over the Bucks. His presence was especially needed after Brooklyn lost James Harden to a hamstring injury after just 43 seconds in Game 1. When the game was decided late in the fourth quarter, Griffin received a standing ovation from New York’s 15,750-strong Barclays Center crowd after committing a foul and being left on the bench. It had been a long time since he had felt anything like that. word-image-2543 word-image-2544 1 Connected I haven’t heard much good in the last two years, and I think that was fair, Griffin said. It’s pretty crazy how it happened, so I’m grateful for this chance and opportunity. The last time Griffin reached this point was in 2015, when he was arguably at the top of his game at age 25 with five All-Star appearances in a row and good health. He finished third in the MVP voting last season and was a star performer in the conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets, averaging 24 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists. He was at an amazing point where his physical attributes combined with his sharp skills. In that first game, six years later, Griffin leaned heavily on the skills he had learned. His physicality has largely declined, but he has become a better shooter, which he showed with four three-point shots when the Bucs gave him space. And his role on the team required him to fight in the trenches, which he did for 35 minutes. Blake Griffin scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the Nets’ 115-107 victory over the Bucks in Game 1. Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images It’s great to see him working hard, persevering and getting opportunities, Nets coach Steve Nash said. He was clearly great tonight, his energy and fight was outstanding. Those who have experienced Griffin over the past five years say he has not been a good teammate. That wasn’t the only reason for the Clippers to trade him – his injury history and problematic contacts were higher on the list – but it was one of them. The main event was the punch he dealt to the Clippers’ equipment manager and Griffin’s broken arm, but there were other incidents with teammates and coaches below the surface. When he arrived in Brooklyn, part of his mission was to win back the respect of his teammates. With players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Harden, all Griffin had to do was step into that role and show his leadership by not only embracing it, but excelling at it. word-image-2545 After the new NBA play-in tournament provided new excitement in the postseason, the first round of the playoffs began. – Big questions from the second round answered – Nets-Bucks series preview by Zach Lowe – Chris Middleton is the Bucks’ backstop – A look at the friendship between Mitchell and D-Wade – How far can the 76ers go without Embiid? In his first few weeks with the team, Griffin was not inspired by the future Hall of Fame members he shared the locker room with. That’s Bruce Brown, a 24-year-old teammate who came into the league as a defender and eventually played center at times as he sought a role to help the group. Griffin did it in Game 1, but he’s far from a 2015 superstar or even a 2019 All-Star. But his contributions were exactly what the Nets needed in this series, where they will lose the middle line and attack constantly. Milwaukee still scored 72 points, the third-most in the playoffs in the last 25 years. Griffin knows there are more challenges ahead, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Harden’s hamstring injury; but Griffin also knows where he belongs. So there he was at the end of the season and the end of his career, in a place he had wanted for a long time – in a way he probably didn’t expect. Being part of something bigger than yourself is a priority, Griffin said. You do everything right.The NBA’s regular season is the longest of any American professional sport, but it’s certainly not the most exciting. Only the final four teams qualify for the postseason, and fans aren’t treated to any meaningful drama until the conference finals. This year it took six years for the Los Angeles Clippers to get back to the playoffs, but they’ve managed to make a postseason run. They’re a little banged up, but if the playoffs started today they’d be favored to advance to the Western Conference Finals.. Read more about blake griffin all-star appearances and let us know what you think.

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