Blake Griffin not about to count Spurs out as NBA title contenders
Blake Griffin has so much respect for Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs, whom he still considers as title contender despite not consistently being the team that won last year's NBA championship. AP

THE San Antonio Spurs have not been consistently the team that won the 2014 NBA Finals but Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is the last person to count the champions out.

The Spurs are currently in seventh place in the Western Conference with a 21-15 win-loss record, and five defeats away from their total defeats last season when they beat the LeBron James-led Miami Heat in five games.

Recently, the Spurs also suffered a stunning loss to the lowly but streaking Detroit Pistons through a buzzer-beating shot by Brandon Jennings.

Still, Griffin knows better not to count the Spurs out at this point of the season, seeing San Antonio to remain as a top contender for the finals.

“The Spurs, you have to give them respect. They’ve been there multiple years. There’s been times when people wrote them off, said that they couldn’t do them anymore, but they always found a way,” said Griffin in a recent conference call with sports journalists from Asia that included Spin.ph.

“So you shouldn’t count them out and give them the respect that they deserve, they’ve earned it,” Griffin added.

After a slow start, the Clippers have found their usual form as they are currently in sixth place in the West with a 24-12 slate.

 “I think we just found our groove, found the pace of our offense and started moving the ball, it never really stuck and it just was hopping all over the place. And then defensively we had each other’s backs.

“We really found our groove as far as rotations and things like that, so really it’s just about the way we play. If we concentrate on playing the right way and playing in a way that makes us successful then we’ll be fine,” said Griffin.

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Griffin’s Clippers are being tagged as one of the teams that could reach this year’s NBA finals but acknowledges how difficult it will be to come out of the West this season.

“You could probably name the top eight or nine teams in the West and say that those are the teams that you fight through to get the championship. It’s really not just one or two teams this year, it’s a multitude of teams.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph