Outside of Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Stephen Curry, Griffin may be the fourth best entertaining player in the league. This may have always been the case as his dunking alone is enough to pack an arena. The difference in the Griffin of old and the one that we have seen of late is that the overall play on the field is catching up to his ability to create an uproar from the crowd. And the Phoenix Suns got a nice dosage of that in last night’s game.
Seeing Griffin score 37 points isn’t other-wordly. His career high is 47 points and he’s crossed the 35 points plateau 13 times in his four-year career, but last night’s outing against the Phoenix Suns showed the growth in Griffin’s career.
For starters, Griffin topped his previous NBA quarter high by scoring 22 points in the first quarter, one point short of the Clippers franchise record for most points in a quarter set by Baron Davis and Randy Smith.
And this little nugget from ESPN takes the cake:
Blake Griffin was a career-best 8 for 8 outside the paint last night for the Clippers pic.twitter.com/v6a2Ey7LjG
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 11, 2014
Critics have often harped at the totality of Griffin’s game. While stating that “all he does is dunk”, they also tore down his ability in the post and from the mid-range. Hard work has shot down all of those criticisms. Even with a jump in volume from mid-range, Blake has increased his shooting percentage by four percent, hitting 39.4 percent of his shots from the area compared to 35.1 percent the previous year.
Griffin’s night was a statistical rarity also. According to Pro Basketball-Reference, Griffin is one of eight players to score 37 points on, at least, 16 field-goal attempts, all while shooting 87 percent or higher from the field since 1985. That group consists of notable players such as Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen and Shaquille O’Neal. The last player to post this stat line was Amar’e Stoudemire in 2010 where he scored 44 points on 14-16 shooting. Great company.
With all of that said, enjoy the highlights. I can explain them and speak on the statistical rarity that was Griffin’s night, but nothing is better than watching the show. Enjoy.
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