Blake Griffin lost his whole rookie season due to injury, but he has been a model of durability since then starting every game the last two years. So what does Griffin need to work on this off-season?
The good parts of his game are beautiful to watch. He works amazingly hard and is a Sportscenter-machine with his high flying dunks and alley-oops.
While his overall numbers were down from his first seaon, the team relied on more players than just him this year and his PER actually went up, from 22 to 23.5. Griffin led the team in scoring and rebounding, while also leading the NBA in points in the paint and dunks this year.
However, Blake Griffin shot .521% from the free throw line this year, which is down more than 10 percentage points from his rookie year(.642). It’s both intriguing and confusing, but he has reportedly been watching a lot of Karl Malon tape, who improved his free-throw shooting to become around an 80 percent free-throw shooter. An encouraging sign was that he raised his shooting up to 64% in the playoffs. He will continue to work on his free-throw and mid-range shooting this off-season and it will be revealing to see the results.
He also needs to improve on his defensive positioning and rotations. Griffin will never become a premier shot-block, but he can definitely improve his on and off-ball defense.
Griffin’s interior game is perhaps where he could stand to build up some finesse. Usually Griffin just bullies his way into the lane, but he needs to continue to work on his foot-work and add a little bit of a jump hook as well. If Griffin is able to implement some improvements this off-season, then Chris Paul will be excited to have new weapons on the floor and will use them effectively.