Just five games into his NBA career, it’s clear that Blake Griffin has changed the Los Angeles Clippers.
The former Oklahoma Sooner, still just 21 years old, is averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent from the floor.
Amazingly, this early on, it’s not at all a stretch to label Griffin as one of the best and most exciting forwards the league has to offer.
He combines the speed of LeBron James, the vertical of Dwight Howard and the bruising body of Karl Malone into a package we’ve never seen before in a basketball player.
So, what can we expect from him as his career progresses?
Assuming he’s able to avoid major injuries (like the knee injury that ended his true rookie season before he began), the sky is the limit for this guy.
While his jump-shooting is still a work in progress, we’ve already seen that Griffin’s strength and athleticism make it tough for defenders to keep him from bullying his way to the bucket with little resistance.
Until he develops that go-to offensive low post ability, Griffin will thrive in a system that focuses on getting out onto the break and getting easy baskets.
His quickness in the post is tough for bigger defenders to deal with, and his shooting percentage should increase as he develops and becomes more efficient around the rim.
An underrated facet of Griffin’s game is his ability to expand the game in the open court.
He’s already shown his explosiveness on the fast break, and we know about his ability to finish.
Griffin will have to develop a reliable low post repertoire in order to tap into his fullest potential, but it’ll certainly help to be surrounded by long distance threats.
As long as players like Eric Gordon will be able to spread the floor, it’ll be tough for defenses to key in on stopping Griffin alone down low.
Defending isn’t his strong suit, but he has all the physical tools necessary to eventually become a menacing low post threat.
His leaping ability already helps him as a rebounder, and soon enough he’ll learn how to develop that physical attribute into a legitimate shot-blocking skill.
Can he one day become a Karl Malone-type presence under the basket? Absolutely.
Right now, his offensive game is centered around power rather than finesse, similar to what we’re used to seeing from Dwight Howard. He has a night jumper out to about 18 feet, but he rarely needs to take shots from there.
Griffin, through five games, is already one of the toughest-t0-guard players in the league down low.
When he isn’t even the primary option on offense for the Clippers, he’s still putting up 17 per game.
Just imagine what he’ll be doing once the offense starts rolling through him.
Watch out, NBA.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers, and covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for ProSportsBlogging.com.