Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin has been known for poor free-throw shooting his entire career. This season, Griffin has managed to turn one of his greatest weaknesses into his bigger strengths. He has done a fantastic job of developing a mid-range jump shot in the past year and his free-throw shooting turnaround has been just as impressive.
Coming into the year, Griffin was shooting 60.7 from the charity stripe for his career. This includes a 2011-2012 season in which he shot an abysmal 52.1 percent from the free thrown line. That same year, Griffin managed to shoot 54.9 percent from the field. Yes, the power forward actually obtained the horrific honor of having shot better from the field than from the free-throw line in an entire season.
Things are a lot different this year, though. Griffin is shooting 70.7 percent from the line which is a fantastic step up from his previous efforts. Not only is he doing a better job of shooting the ball, he is getting to the stripe more often as well. Last season, Griffin only attempted 5.3 free throws per game, but this year he is shooting 7.7 a game.
Griffin’s ability to knock down free throws is critical, especially when it gets to crunch time near the end of games. Not only are Griffin’s free throws important points down the stretch, coach Doc Rivers can keep him on the floor as opposing teams will not be purposefully fouling him to acquire possessions without risking baskets by the Clippers.
Blake Griffin has become one of the better power forwards in the league this year and this is partly due to his free-throw shooting. If he can continue to improve his overall game, he will prove to be one of the more formidable players we have seen in a while.