#NBA Star Blake Griffin: The Development

blake griffin dunk

Blake Griffin is a human highlight machine, at least he was last year. He still generates a ton of hype and highlight tape for the likes of ESPN, but he has really taken a step regarding his scoring output and shot selection.

Plus his commercials are pretty funny and he seems to be a good guy. Like this one:

So let’s take a look at his stats and see how he’s progressed. Here’s Blake Griffin’s career stats (via ESPN.com):

SEASON

FG%

3P%

FT%

Off Reb

Def Reb

REB

AST

BLK

STL

TO

PTS

’10-’11

.506

.292

.642

3.3

8.8

12.1

3.8

0.5

0.8

2.7

22.5

’11-’12

.549

.125

.521

3.3

7.6

10.9

3.2

0.7

0.8

2.3

20.7

’12-’13

.538

.179

.660

2.3

6.0

8.3

3.7

0.6

1.2

2.3

18.0

’13-’14

.524

.375

.700

2.3

8.3

10.6

3.1

0.7

1.1

2.9

21.9

I really like how Griffin has progressed. His field goal percentage has risen from 50.6% to 52.4% in 4 seasons, which is good for a developing post player. I’m glad he’s staying away from 3s, even though he is shooting over 37%. He’s worked on his free throws to now sit at 70% overall from a terrible, Shaq-like 52.1% in his sophomore year. He’s consistently gotten 6-8 defensive rebounds per game, which is what I like from power forwards. He has a couple of turnovers a game, but that’s the name of the game.

Most importantly, he’s averaging a double-double with 21.9 points and 10.6 rebounds per game this year. In 3 of his 4 years in the Association, Blake Griffin has averaged a double-double in points and rebounds.

2012 and 2013 Playoffs:

SEASON

FG%

3P%

FT%

Off Reb

Def Reb

REB

AST

BLK

STL

PF

TO

PTS

’11-’12

.500

.000

.636

1.7

5.2

6.9

2.5

0.9

1.8

3.7

2.3

19.1

’12-’13

.453

.000

.808

1.3

4.2

5.5

2.5

0.8

0.0

4.0

2.2

13.2

His field goal percentage dipped last postseason, but that was due to bad spacing and a tough matchup with the Grizzlies (who were one of the toughest, grinding teams last season). He shot better from the free throw line last postseason at 80.8% compared to 63.6% the year before. But, his rebounds go down with only 4-5 defensive rebounds in the playoffs and only 5-6 rebounds overall per playoff game. And, his scoring went down too from 19.1 to 13.2 points in the playoffs.

Some of his new moves are in the post, which makes him so tough to guard. Instead of being a purely open-court dunker, he has some touch around the basket (which is really nice).

But, he still struggles from outside the paint, as Grantland’s Kirk Goldsberry shows us:

blake griffin shot chart

He shoots a Lebron James-like 66.1% in the painted area. But, he shoots 33% from the left elbow, 35.2% from the right and a slightly better 39.2% on the left baseline. That’s an average of 35.8% overall outside the paint. That won’t cut it if Blake Griffin wants to get to the next level of greatness.

He has to improve his jumper beyond 9 feet for sure, but he’s becoming a great player because of hard work, athleticism, and even though I’m not a big fan of Doc Rivers, Rivers has helped develop this young man’s game.

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About Spencer Irvine

Fun loving, D.C. area sports fan, which means I'm frustrated and still can't get a grip on what a win truly means (or a championship for that matter).

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