The Clippers are heading into one of the most exciting seasons that their franchise has seen, possibly ever. They were able to make great additions this off-season, including J.J. Redick, Darren Collison, and most importantly their new head coach Doc Rivers. All that being said, the leadership of the team on the court has remained unchanged. Chris Paul was able to reach an agreement to stay with the Clippers long-term, and their other leader, Blake Griffin, is primed for another year with L.A. as well.
Griffin has been putting up great numbers since coming into the league, but still has many critics questioning just how good of a player he can be. He’s worked hard this past off-season, and is reportedly in the best shape of his life and is ready to prove his doubters wrong. Last season, he averaged 18.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He was able to improve his post game on offense, and once again was able to put up highlight dunks on a nightly basis.
The main concern heading into the 2013-14 season is his defensive ability. With all the athleticism he possesses, and standing at 6’10″, he should be able to average more than 0.6 blockers per game. Obviously the Clippers have a rim protector playing next to Griffin in the front-court with DeAndre Jordan, but the Clippers need Griffin to step things up to put even more pressure on their opponents. If he’s able to become a better rim protector himself, the points are going to have to come from the perimeter and mid-range game for opposing teams.
Offensively, he could use some improvement in his game as well. His mid-range ability leaves a lot to be desired, and while he did improve his post game last year, there is still work to be done. There is no doubt that he’ll be more athletic than his opponent each and ever night, so if he’s able to work on his game and hone his skills, he could become an unstoppable force. One thing that the critics can’t take away from Griffin is his work ethic. Ever since playing High School basketball, his coaches have stated that he is was the hardest worker on their team.
Doc Rivers could very well be exactly what Blake Griffin has needed as well. Rivers is known as a player’s coach, and he’s able to get the best out of his team, as well as help them reach their full potential. Assuming Griffin is willing to be patient and learn from one of the best, he could improve a lot heading into the season.
Overall, Blake Griffin is going to have a very productive season this year. We know he’s been working hard and has been motivated to come back even better than he was last season. Assuming he’s been working on his offensive consistency, we’ll see his scoring numbers rise this year. Clippers fans have every right to be excited about the outlook for Griffin heading into the 2013-14 campaign.