The first problem I have, is with Blake Griffin. In my opinion , he is the most over hyped player in the NBA today. He is making over 100 million dollars and is proclaimed by many a superstar. When you think superstar, you think big time; when you think big time, you think big numbers and results.
Blake has a limited post game, due to his short arms and can’t score consistently against taller/ longer forwards at the 4 position. His fundamentals aren’t that great either; he relies too much on his strength and athleticism to score. That’ll work sometimes, but against a smart defensive minded team, he will be shut down. He needs to learn more post moves to use, instead of throwing head fakes and off balance spin hook shots. Teams study his predictable moves, and defend to counter what he likes to do.
Next we discuss his jump shot. It has improved but only so very slightly. Blake still hesitates when shooting the ball, his lack of confidence is the reason for him missing a majority of the time. He has a decent shooting form, he just needs to believe in himself. Blake only takes maybe 3 or 4 jumpers a night, the defense willingly gives him the open look; however if he isnt willing to take it then he becomes one dimensional. This makes him even more predictable and allows defenders to stay in the paint area and basically makes Blake a non scoring threat due to his lack of shooting touch. You can’t just practice shooting, and then when its game time shy away from it.
If Blake would actually take the jump shot when it is there, which it is most times and not hesitate, his % would go up. The lane would then open up for him, to blow by his defender, attack the rim, and finish strong. Blake, at 6’10 should be grabbing more rebounds than he does now. In some of the games I have watched, he only has around 6 or 7 for the night which is unacceptable! With his height/athleticism/strength, he should control the glass on the offensive and defensive side. His defense is also very suspect as well. Blake gets lit up by other premier Forwards at his position in the NBA. Some names to throw out there Kevin Love, Lamarcus Aldridge, Zack Randolph etc.
While I understand they are all very good, as a so called superstar in this league, you should be able to limit some of the things they do on the offensive side. These players score with relative ease on Griffin. They always get the better of Griffin and yet he still gets more recognition than any of them. Blake at times, seems to only give effort on offense and not enough on defense. His help defense is below average and his rotations on shooters are slow as well. He has low defensive intangibles, maybe a veteran forward that is a good on ball/team defender could mentor him in the future, because his defense is lacking as of right now. With all that athleticism he should be contesting shots in the paint left and right like a Serge Ibaka and should be getting more blocks. He is also very quick for his position he should be closing out on shooters better than he does and his help defense should be more crisp. Blake should dominate the paint area on defense.
There is a reason why people call him one dimensional. He can only score off dunks,athleticism, and strength none of those take real skill. He is the poster boy of the NBA. He draws crowds in with his ferocious dunks on fast-breaks. All of that is exciting, but does it all equate to winning games in the playoffs where it counts?
For the last two years, Blake has been shut down on the offensive side of the court, and scored on easily on the defensive end. He seems to shrink as games go on, late in 4th quarters of games Griffin appears timid and afraid to take shots. He basically becomes a non factor scoring wise, and allows defenders to stay back and have support in the paint area. He doesn’t exhibit being a superstar in any way on that basketball court. All excitement and fun, but no important accomplishments to show for it.
Blake is a weak free throw shooter as well. He has improved but is still shaky from the stripe. He isn’t a go to scorer like a normal NBA superstar is (where you throw him the ball and tell him to go to work and score). He will dribble, get in a bad position and kick the ball out to a shooter for a contested 25 ft three pointer which will miss 9/10.
Blake is still young, but has a lot of things to work on if he ever wants to be regarded as a superstar in my book. I have nothing against Blake Griffin, I just don’t like the fact that he is over-hyped and called a superstar by people who don’t really watch the game of basketball.