November 18, 2010
For me, I think, it's as much about the anticipation as it is about the act itself. The simultaneous firing of all those synapses as your brain tells your legs it's about time to raise up out of your seat; the way your temperature starts to inch north when you see what's coming; the dawn of a yell in the back of your throat. That's what I dig most about watching Blake Griffin(notes) prepare for takeoff — the sheer joy of anticipating the instant when potential energy becomes very, very kinetic.
While it's definitely satisfying to watch the play finish with Griffin cramming it home on Anthony Tolliver(notes) — who probably didn't even mind all that much, as he is still riding the Love Train after his recent engagement, had a nice chasedown block on Clips rook Willie Warren(notes) in the second quarter, and has also experienced far, far worse posterization at the hands of Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) — there's also beauty in those few seconds before it actually happens.
In Griffin "setting a screen" (or at least trying to) for Eric Gordon(notes) at the 3-point line, then quickly turning and starting to shuffle his feet. In his search for the open spot near the bucket, his eyes on Gordon's penetration, his body perfectly positioned to be able to go straight up after Gordon delivers the rock. In the moment before the Moment. In this:
What Blake Griffin can do is amazing; that, after sitting out his rookie season with a knee injury, he is actively doing it on the court for us every night in NBA games is something to treasure. In a league where stories don't always work out the way we'd hoped, it's worth taking a second to really savor something this good.