Blogtable: Spotlight On Blake Griffin

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Blake Griffin has been a little banged up, but we’re going there anyway: He can dunk, sure, but is he ready for the postseason spotlight?

Steve Aschburner: I don’t see the full range of skills, moves, wiles and whatever else goes into postseason success. Blake Griffin at this stage is still a regular-season highlight reel and accident — or brouhaha — waiting to happen with his collisions above the hardwood. Both he and the Clippers are building toward something, but they haven’t arrived.

Fran Blinebury: When you jump over cars and become a national spokesman for a product, you are inviting the spotlight. That said, eight games into his playoff career, Griffin is a work in progress who needs to expand his game and his skill for the Clippers to become real contenders.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Of course. It’s all relative, though. Is he is the best power forward in the game? No. Is Griffin as good as he will be next season or the season after? No. But is he good enough to beat an opponent as good as the Spurs? Yes. He can step into the moment just fine.

Shaun Powell: Sure, he’s ready, if healthy. Look, he’s an All-Star. He rebounds and defends. And yes, he dunks a lot, but those count for two points, don’t they? Where Griffin falls short is in the area of all-around offensive game. Eventually he’ll need to develop a trusty 15-footer, but he knows that. Until then, he has managed to get by quite nicely with an incomplete game. Heck, roughly 80 percent of NBA players have an incomplete game. All but a handful have a glaring weakness somewhere.

John Schuhmann: Not quite. He does have some post game, so it’s not like he’s Stromile Swift or anything like that. But if you can get back in transition and provide weak-side help on the Clippers’ pick-and-roll, you can certainly neutralize Griffin. He needs to improve his shooting (he’s 12-for-43 from outside the restricted area in the postseason) and definitely needs to become a better defender.

Sekou Smith: He’s in his second season of actually playing in the league. It’s a little early to worry about whether or not he’s ready for the playoff spotlight. And it honestly doesn’t matter how ready he is, because he’s the Clippers’ second best player and has to show up (injured or not) every night if they have a chance of making this a series against the Spurs. Griffin has to take his lumps now, like most every other young star before him who had championship aspirations. But I’ll worry about deconstructing his readiness for the spotlight at a later date — say after he’s played more than eight or nine playoff games.

40 Comments

  1. sunsman says:

    When Amare was in his 2nd year he was still drive right and dunk, that’s all the guy could do… now look at him, he improved his range, his post moves, etc. Why? 1/ it is his job to improve his skill and be a better player and 2/ he had to after his knee injuries. Unfortunately it is only a matter of time til Griffin suffers an injury that will change his game for him.

    Two other comparisons of athletes that excel because of their physical gifts not skill set are Lebron and Dwight Howard. But those two play smart and don’t put themselves at risk like Blake does. Anyone read the blog on Kobe not taking charges….. Griffin needs to make the off season his real time to work, get that jumper going and then help defenders won’t just be waiting for you to drive cause they know you got nothing else.

  2. Karlo Garcia says:

    I don’t think BG is ready for the spotlight. The clippers would not go far just for him dunking. When he developes his mid range jumpshots then he’ll b even better. The clips can’t just survive on dunks!

  3. stop says:

    he needs to stop flopping imo.

  4. Bok says:

    BG should realize that he needs to workout his game. Offensively, he should have a go – to move, whether it’s a post up, shake & bake, or a mid range jumper. Defensively, he should be able to help during penetration or help out defense. He’s pretty good for a 2ND year pro, but nowhere near Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Chris Webber, Kevin Garnett, Derrick Coleman, Alonzo Mourning, Tim Duncan and the list goes on….

  5. Kenny K says:

    Why is everyone complaining about Blake’s dunks and power games? Shaq is listed as one of the greatest player with no outside game.

  6. 813snoogy says:

    for one lamarcus aldridge is best pf

  7. Tipz says:

    Griffin must not need to know showtime, but to know his role in the game. He must develop his maturity as a role player. Not only the monster dunks, but also the overall play. There is room for improvement.

  8. POi says:

    He should hire Freddie Roach. Pacquiao used to be one dimensional just like Griffin is now.. wait, what?

  9. KB24:) says:

    If Blake Griffin wants to get better, then he has to do more that just dunk it. mann he needs more moves down in the paint.

  10. TTKIN says:

    He’s a good player, not great. He’s a great jumper and has great hops. so although very incomplete right now, he has a ways. Everyone remembers him posterziing Gasol twice in that one game, but no one reazlizes he got outplayed in that game overall. I seem to remember him being better than a 50% foul shooter in college, and I seem to remember him having amid-range game back then too. I may be wrong, but there’s no evidence showing he CANT do it. He’s a good player now, he’ll be a great player one day.

    This is coming from someone who hates BG more than anyone in the NBA. And even I admit he will get there one day (playing with chris paul, he’ll get there even sooner).

  11. leirda says:

    i agree with shaun there, that 80% of NBA or BA players (using the chuckster’s voice) doesn’t have an incomplete game. Surely, above 90% of NBA or BA players (chuckster’s voice again) are athletic but most of them only have a 1 dimensional games in their arsenal. In BG’s case, i think he is 90-95% athletic but he is around 70-78% complete player. I also agree with shaun that he needs to develop a trusty 15 footer jumpshot or a low post hook shot which by the way reminds of his play not so long ago that he run and spins towards the basket and ends up looking like a spinning hook shot. BG and Dwight have to developed a consistent low post hook shot which by the way Dwight’s already been using sometimes (a running hook shot but he elevates very high but with no timing and balance, thus only relying on his atlethicism) because those 2 guys over here can only score 80% of their ppg thru dunks. (all of the comments mentioned are done with chuckster’s voice).

  12. TRU*NBAFAN says:

    LOB CITY MEET 3PT CITY

    GO SPURS!

  13. Mario says:

    Blake Griffin has footwork, consistent? Not yet.. Everyone talks about how he’s no good and should come off the bench but apparently the people who do talk of him are not real clippers fans.. Before Paul, Butler, Billups, and Young and all those guys, with Griffin they got 32 wins.. Something I think they wouldn’t have got without
    him.. I do agree he needs more than one post move or two and needs work on freethrows.. The guy is obviously talented and has more than plenty of room for improvement, I do hope to see a different Blake Griffin next season because I would like to see CP3 with the Clipps for many more years.. On another note, for all the real clipper fans, I hope to see a different DJ as well, if not I’d like for us to get a 7 footer!! I’d like to trade Randy or atleast start Nick Young instead..

  14. Alex says:

    I’ve seen BG making some moves that just I couldn’t beleive. The guy is good, he is young and in the spotlight. I say it’s up to him to get better. I think he should work on his outside the paint shots and his defence. He should struggle more on the defensive end.

  15. Tony says:

    Chris Paul is not playing for the team. He is playing for himself. No matter how good is he, NBA basketball is a team sport. You need team player to win and Paul is not a team player.

    • Nitro Genex says:

      Right on that Dude! Coach Del Negro should know its playoffs and not need showtime. Let Chris Paul rest and recover his injury and not wasting time dribbling the ball while they are down by double digits. Spurs are veterans and so with the coach…
      Parker in batman mode while Gino and Timmy get back in shape while the rest have a loaded guns from the 3points territory.
      So wake up LAC ang goodluck!

  16. best point guard = best BBIQ says:

    2nd year in the leauge!!!he’s still learning..he averages 20 and 10 in his second year!!only kevin love averages the same at PF..he’s doing it w/out a consistent jumper,freethrows,proper defense and reggie evans style of backing a man out getting rebounds..he is a strong man..he is still young..if he develop those skills watch out!!chauncey,cp3, martin and evans really affected his game a lot on how he kept his composure against randolph and the grizzlies..they try to make him mad by being so so so physical with him but what happened? he didn’t complain that much not like what he did early in the season..he is learning guys!!the veterans around him helped him a lot..and did you see his up and unders this season? he has post moves using spin moves at the post, mini hook shots..he developed that just this year where lockout happened.no consistent practice and rest but he still improved some parts of his game..his work ethic is unpararelled. no foot work? you should have a great footwork in under post moves especially up and unders..he has great foot work..just need to polish his moves because the foot work is there..what u see is just dunks.there is much more in his game than dunks.. working with hakeem this summer would really help him a lot..

  17. NBAfan says:

    Sorry…the OLD Fundamentals Timmy D is showing him that basketball is not all about just running and jumping and acting like you’re tough stuff…..

    But I think Blake will learn….but I think he needs a great point guard with him…

    CP3 and Blake needs to be the next stockton and malone…..

    • Pacers fan says:

      win or lose the Clipps will learn and benefit from this season’s run for sure (especially against Parker + Duncan + Ginobili), just like how Durant & company improved from what they’ve learned from last season’s playoff series with the Mavs.

  18. mb says:

    blake is athletic and fun to watch. He does not have a complete game. He isn’t a top 5 maybe not even a top 10 pf in the nba. He can’t be the go to guy at crunch time. His defense is nothing to brag about. But what he has to his advantage is time and talent. He is young, gifted and add hard work and desire he could be a top 5 pf. He must first work on his biggest weakness and a very important factor in any players game, freethrows.

  19. W/E says:

    oh and the sad part is that in the post season BG is so bad,he should only come off the bench when reggie evans gets tired,reggie who also got no skills AT ALL BUT he is alot more valuable cause he got more intensity, hustle and DEFENCE

    • Common Sense says:

      This guy sounds like an uneducated Lakers loving Clippers hater. Anyone that knows anything about basketball knows that Blake is by far better than almost any forward in the game for his second year. On top of that he is the focal point of every defense when competing against the clippers. For someone that is always double teamed and almost always tripled teamed, averaging 20 and 10 is pretty darn good. And anyone that watches him knows that 80% of those points come from foot work and power moves. 20% of his offense comes from off the ball maneuvers that lead to open high flying dunks. But I do think that he needs to play more aggressive against the Spurs than he did against Memphis, or more. Clippers must realize that the Spurs are the best team in the NBA and in order to beat them, you have to play your heart out for 48 minutes or more! No other way to win. But this isn’t about Blake’s skill it’s about his experience and knowing which of his moves to use and at what moment in the game. He’ll get better, we all know he will!

  20. W/E says:

    BG is just a role player who can jump and dunk the ball. he got no skills at all at the moment, he is just VERY athletic and strong thats y he is an ok rebounder and inside scorer but nothing special really

  21. steve scottq says:

    griffin has scored more points in the paint that anyone in the league period, he is good for 20 and 10 he is constantly double teamed, opponents have to play special defenses to keep him from scoring, he is a beast he is young and he will soon be labeled as one of the best power forwards ever, he has shot the ball over 3 times less a game than last year, he is a team player and he is hampered by poor free throw shooting, a not very good 15 foot jumper and he is fouled more that is not called than any player in the league, you have to break the rules to guard him, simple

  22. BG is going to get better. Once he gets that 15 footer down, watch out. he also NEEDS TO WORK ON THOSE DAMN FREETHROWS.

  23. skarky says:

    Those who think Blake has no footwork or post skills just haven’t watch him play much. He has a dazzling array of moves that require two healthy knees, and with his work ethic, which I’ve been observing since he was in middle school, he’s only going to get better.

  24. Amitpal says:

    Could people stop being so hard on this kid. It’s only his second year. And yeah he’s kind of one deminsional but he gets u 20 and 10. Those number don’t lie. If he wasn’t good he wouldn’t have averaged 20 and 10. Hes not as bad as everyone makes it seems. And he does have a post gAme it’s jus not consistent. It’s not like he can never score in the post. I saw some good moves against Memphis and he’s only getting better. He’s not the best power forward but he’s a top five power forward. How many other guys can get u 20 and 10. Only Kevin love at PF. Yeah he’s not a good shooter but neither was lebron Rose wade rondo amare and many more. All those guys are doing fine in the NBA and Blake griffin will be fine to just give him sometime.

  25. Blakes numbers are good for his first two seasons , plus coming off a knee injury, and he did deserve an allstar spot its a fans game and they voted him in, and as a fan myself blake is the only player i want to see in the all star game , and i am impressed with him in the playoffs so far.

  26. Belizeboy says:

    Sekou you’re the only one who ever seems to make sense. It’s Griffin’s 2ND SEASON! The Clips couldn’t have made it this far without him and Paul. Now they do need more out of him if they want a chance at the next round, but it may be asking too much for someone so young and also partially injured. If I was managing the Clippers I would try to minamize using Griffin so he doesn’t end up badly injurying himself.

  27. heatlatinofan says:

    geeze ……. he is not even deserve to be all stars…..all he did is jump, he got not skill other than jump and dunk, no foot work, no defense. he is just so lucky he play with great point guard in CP3 who keep feeding him so he look good. hell if he play in team like LaLa land where there is not good point guard , he won’t be more than just a role players.

    and those of you who keep saying griffin is best and better than kevin love, you know nothing b ball. hack i am not even sure he is in top 5 Pf in the league. pau, dirk, bosh, love , Lamarcus, duncan, KG, Ibaka, amar’e, josh smith comes before him. he didn’t even make top 10 cut. in a few years his body will slow down and he will just be role player or a sub cuz he got no sikills. he is far from real spotlight. he is another shawn kamp. dunk and done!

    • Sam says:

      Ur name says it all dude…. You can see nothing beyond the Heat….
      1stly Bosh is not a top 10 power forward.
      2nd I agree that BG only has the dunk n jump routine right now, but give him some time. It’s just his 2nd season as a pro b-baller…. Giv him time to grow….
      & 3rd I agree that comparatively Love is a much better more diverse game PF….. He has the jumper, the 3 pointer & the guy can gather hell lot of rebounds….

      • Ben says:

        You must be way high to say that Bosh is not a top 10Pf. Just look at the heats without him.

      • Sam says:

        if bosh is a top 10 PF, then where do you put dirk, duncan, KG, lemarcus, josh smith, zach randolph, love, ibaka, milsap, pau and channing frye….. Just cos sum of these guys dnt mak it to all star games and bosh does (cos of bng in ego-centric Miami) they are not top 10 PF rite???

      • wadefan says:

        ben.. thats not because of how good bosh is.. its because of how good he is compared to the other options the heat have.. they have no presence in the paint without him.. with him they have a little bit.. not much.. but he minimizes their biggest deficiency.. doesnt make him a top 10 pf

      • Tyler says:

        Sam I would agree that Bosh isn’t better than Dirk, KG, Z Bo and Pau but he’s definitely better than Frye and Ibaka by a country mile.

      • Dylan says:

        Your nuts if you don’t think Bosh is a top ten power forward! His offensive game is probably one of the top tier in the power forward position, he’s fast enough to blow by most defenders, has a nice long two, can sometimes shoot threes and is a good free throw shooter. He’s averaging about 17-18 points a game (which is alot considering he doesn’t shoot the ball that often because of wade and lebron) he averages 8 rebounds, ft% is 80 something percent and is a decent defender. I’d say only Love, Aldridge and Smith are above him as better overall power forwards. I’m an avid raptors fan and I remember when Bosh used to average about 25 points and 12 rebounds a game, now those are some impressive stats and he practically carried the Raps to the playoffs a few times.. So give Bosh some respect. And finally, GO SPURS!!!

  28. Adrixe says:

    BG needs to really work on his game this off season. hire hakeem to learn so post moves and hire a shooting coach to really improve hi shooting. Clippers will only go so far where CP3 will lead them.

    • Pachanga says:

      I totally agree with that, after his rookie season I thought that his game would elevate with the addition of some post moves and a little perimeter game but it didn’t so this is still the BG that we knew from his rookie season.