Throughout his career, Los Angeles Clippers power-forward Blake Griffin has been criticized for things like being too soft, not being able to make a free-throw and only being good for highlight dunks. This season, Griffin has stepped his game up to the next level and is emerging as one of the best power-forwards in the league. He is averaging a monster 22 points and 10.3 rebounds per game and continues to wow nearly everyone with his incredible athletic ability.
A key part of Griffin’s success this season has been his ability to knock down mid-range jump shots. In the past, Griffin has shot badly from outside of about 12 feet. This year, however, the power-forward is doing a much better job of shooting and making these shots. When comparing his shot charts from last season to this one, there is a marked difference in his shooting percentage. In the 2012-13 season, Griffin converted a measly 34 percent of his shots when shooting between 16 and 24 feet. So far this season, though, the Oklahoma alum is shooting 40.8 percent from the same distance; that’s almost a seven percent difference. Griffin has also become more confident in his mid-range shot as evidenced by his shot selection. Last season he only took 17.9 percent of his shots from that 16 to 24 foot range, whereas this season he has taken 28.7 of his shots from there.
Griffin has also proven he can get a little hot from mid-range in games as well. In a New Year’s Day win against the Charlotte Bobcats this season, he knocked down eight of his 11 shots, including a three-pointer, from 16 feet or further on his way to 31 points on 14-of-20 shooting for the night.
This new-found jump shot makes Griffin even harder to guard than he was before. It now forces big men to come out and deny his shot which stretches the floor and makes the Clippers’ offense run even more smoothly than before. If he is guarded out on the wing, his quickness combined with his size and jumping ability make him a dangerous threat to all defenders near the paint as he has the ability to put it on the floor and take it to the hoop.