There has to be a point in a player’s career when he puts it all together. Blake Griffin is going into his fourth season in the league, and that time is now.
As a basketball fan, the dunks and high-flying acts are very entertaining. The promise that we see in his game is wide open, but he has not put the whole package together yet. His jumper is flat, he dribbles in circles when trying to make a move and he lacks any defensive presence. How can a player 6-foot-110 and 251 pounds with great leaping ability average less than one block per? Griffin should dominate on the low-blocks with his speed and athleticism.
I don’t know if it’s laziness, lack of concentration or if he has no desire to do so, but his rebounding has declined every season. Last season he averaged seven rebounds per; that is unacceptable for a person with his skill level. His average of 19 points last season is not going to cut it if the Los Angeles Clippers are going to contend this year. As good a player that Chris Paul is, he cannot do it alone, he needs help. I’m not going to go as far and call him a bust, but he is treading lightly with his career.
To see Paul on the break running full speed going one-on-two, then throw the ball in the air only to see Griffin come out of nowhere to slam the ball home is priceless and a thing of beauty. Two plays later, he gets the ball in the post, tries a spin move and travels. He gets the ball at the top of the key and shoots the flattest jump shot this side of a Shaquille O’Neal free throw. What a waste of talent, yet there is still time.
The Clippers are one of the teams favored to win the championship this year and it begins with their star and well-paid power forward. He has to increase his per averages to 25-plus points, 11-plus rebounds and 2-plus blocks. There are no excuses him or the Clippers can use when speaking about the talent surrounding him. He plays every night with the best point guard in the league, a shot-blocking monster in DeAndre Jordan and a gang of perimeter snipers. He now has a coach who stresses defense and expects more of his players, especially his superstars.
This is the season where we will learn what type of player Griffin is. Is he just a dunking machine and highlight reel? Has he already reached his ceiling? At some point this season, Griffin will stop and look at himself in the mirror and will either smile and be pleased or grunt and get to work.