The Los Angeles Clippers are coming into the 2013-2014 NBA season with near astronomical expectations. Not only do they have the highlight-filled duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin along with perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jamal Crawford, but they have also added crazy good depth on the wings with Reggie Bullock, J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley this off-season.
More than that, the Clippers also have a much more competent head coach after completing a “trade” with the Boston Celtics that brought in Doc Rivers to be the new man with the clipboard for the Clips. To put it nicely, Rivers can walk coaching circles around former Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro.
Despite all of their additions to an already talented team, though, the Clippers aren’t going to reach their maximum potential if Griffin doesn’t further develop his game. He’s a solid rebounder, a good scorer in the post and, of course, he has unreal athleticism. However, he stills need work defensively and, more importantly, he needs to diversify his offensive game.
As of right now, Griffin is only an effective scorer deep in the post. Last season he shot 72 percent inside of five feet. However on shots outside of five feet he shot only 35.3 percent. Moreover, Griffin shot only 26 percent on jump shots last season.
There were murmurs last summer that Griffin was working on developing a mid-range jumper, but that didn’t really come to fruition. In fact, he shot a slightly worse percentage on jumpers this past year than he did in the 2011-2012 season. If he has been working on his jumper, he needs to keep at it.
If Griffin can develop that mid-range jump shot, it will make the Clippers incredibly dangerous. It will open up the lane for guys like Paul and Crawford and will also open up the post for DeAndre Jordan. Griffin is already exciting and an above-average player, but if he wants to elevate his game and his team, he needs to keep developing that jumper of his.