The odds of getting the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft are better than the odds that the draftee will be worth the rabbit’s foot in the pocket of the franchise representative holding the rights to the pick. Therefore, making a case that a fifth year player elected to three All-Stars and two post season appearances could be make a case for most improved player in the league would at least be a contradiction to past accolades.
Yet, in the case of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, he’s an example of someone that is as deserving to be recognized for the player that he’s become as the superstar reputation he gained as a rookie. Griffin’s under-the-athleticism as an University Oklahoma Sooner caught enough attention to make him the Clippers’ No. 1 pick. He was so electrifying that he was being compared to past greats with very little objections to the self appointment gate keepers of NBA blasphemy.
However, defenses soon caught on and backed off Griffin, testing his willingness to shoot. Word soon spread throughout the league like fungus in a locker room hot tub, that not only was Griffin disinterested in scoring from the perimeter, but that the ball was equally shy to go through the net. With that, the pile-on began and a player once mentioned in the same breath as Miami Heat‘s LeBron James was being hinted as the piece keeping the Clippers out of the NBA Finals.
By the beginning of this 2013 regular season, it was rumored that there would be a better chance of Griffin being traded than it would that he would develop into a complete basketball player. From the opening tip, all trade talk would be put on hold. Griffin has been a consistent scorer and rebounder, posting dunk-less double doubles in wins and losses. Griffin is a proven No. 2 to point guard Chris Paul, making shots from the perimeter and following misses with nasty retaliation and rim ruckus.
Griffin has approached this season with the goal of being a better basketball player. His game is maturing, his mid range jump shot is falling-ish, and most impressive is the “Paul-like” approach he bring to every game.
ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like him on Facebook. Christopher-Rant Sports.