Already a nightly fixture due to his show-stopping dunks, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin will be all over the highlight reels on Friday night after a jaw-dropping block on Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams.
The block came toward the end of the first quarter with the score tied at 25-25. Williams beat Chris Paul off the dribble (with the help of a little push) and went soaring into the lane for what he hoped would be a highlight-reel dunk.
However, Griffin had other plans. He timed Williams' launch perfectly and cleanly came away with a block that brought the Barclays Center crowd to its feet.
The block in and of itself was a fantastic feat of athleticism, as most players wouldn't have enough body control to avoid colliding with Williams and sending him to the line. Still, it's what Griffin did after the initial block that was what made this play so amazing.
Usually on plays like this, you would see a defender swat the bejesus out of the ball and send it careening into the stands. Instead of doing that, Griffin essentially stole the ball from Williams in midair, passed to Paul as he was falling to avoid a travel and helped set up a fast-break opportunity for the Clippers.
Matt Barnes promptly turned the ball over, but that doesn't negate the effect. Griffin displayed a strong basketball IQ on that play while still giving us a highlight that will compete for top-play honors on Friday night.
If he can start coming up with strong defensive plays like that more often, it will go a long way toward making this Clippers squad reach its immense potential.