Dallas Youth Basketball: Watch Blake Griffin

Dallas Youth Basketball Blake Griffin

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is one of the most exciting players in the NBA.  After becoming the 1st overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Blake has been an All Star every year he has played and has invited numerous players to be unwilling co-stars in his personal highlight reels.  Blake has been known as an exciting dunker, but has actually blossomed into a good overall player.  He has grown from someone to be admired for his athleticism to someone to be studied for how he plays game.  Young forwards looking to grow their game can learn from Blake Griffin.  Let’s talk about what you can takeaway from his game.

Train To Hustle

What first jumps off the screen when you watch Blake Griffin is how hard he plays.  Blake’s motor is turned up all game.  He’s diving for loose balls, rebounding, running to the rim and taking charges the entire time he is on the floor.  We know Blake for the highlights dunks, but how do you think he is getting those dunks?  He runs the floor and gets out in transition all game long.  Blake rebounds well for his position, averaging 10 rebounds per game for his career thus far.  10 rebounds is a benchmark for elite rebounding for big men.  Blake is considered to have a disadvantage because he has shorter-than-average arms for an NBA power forward, but because of his motor he still gets the job done.  And like I mentioned, when he is not on the glass he is out and running, racking up exciting hustle points for his team

Train For Contact

Blake Griffin uses his body well to finish at the rim.  This ability all but cancels out his shorter-than-average arms, although he does get his shot blocked from time to time by longer defenders.  During the 2013-2014 season, Blake averaged 8.4 free throw attempts per game and finished second in the NBA in total free throw attempts.  He was second only to NBA scoring leader and MVP Kevin Durant.  When you watch Blake, watch him finish at the rim when he is not dunking.  You can pick up some things you may be able to incorporate into your game.  Notice how quick he gets off the floor, and his body control.  Also take note that Blake shoots over 70% from the free throw line, which is pretty good for a big man.  Blake scored 6 points per game from the free throw line alone.  Here is a good article to train for contact:  http://basketballtrainer.com/basketball-training-for-contact/

Train For  Face-Up Jump Shot Excellence

As is the case with a lot of great athletes, Blake Griffin didn’t come into the league with a great jump shot.  He came into the league getting to and finishing at the rim at a high rate.  Which was and is outstanding.  But as defenses started to play him for the drive and back off of him, it became clear that he needed to be able to shoot the ball from 16-20 feet if he was going to remain as highly effective.  In the 2013-2014 season he finally started to show a willingness to shoot the “Karl Malone” (kids, look him up) jumpshot from 16 feet and out.  He raised his scoring average from the previous year by 6 points and recorded a new career high in that department.  The great thing about him being willing to shoot that jumpshot is that it didn’t change who he is as a player.  It just “opened his game up”.  Blake is still dunking and getting to the rim as much as he ever was, but now he is just a threat in an additional area.  If you young athletic players could develop this shot, it would help your game immensely.

Develop A Pick-and-Roll & Go-To Move

Blake has simplified the game for himself.  He scores points every night off of offensive rebounds (he grabs 2 offensive boards per game) and running in transition.  In addition to that, he has also become adept at running the pick and roll with his All Star point guard teammate Chris Paul.  The pick and roll can be a tough skill for you young big men to learn, but once you get it, you can add more easy points to your scoring total.  Watch how Blake sets a screen and makes a hard roll to the basket.  He’s such a threat rolling to the rim that defenses have to rotate to account for him or give up an alley-oop dunk.  That extra defensive attention sometimes gets his teammates open as well.  So let’s break that down – offensive rebounding, running in transition and finishing on the pick and roll.  That’s three “passive” ways that Blake scores points.  That’s great.  He’s not calling for the ball all game and stalling his team’s offense.  He’s being effective without that.  BUT, the times when he does get the ball in an isolation post-up or face-up situation, Blake has a go-to move.  He likes the spin move.  Watch him work.  He’s effective at using his quickness to get an initial step, and then he spins hard for the layup or dunk attempt at the rim.  A lot of times this results in 2 points or 2 free throw attempts for Blake.  And since Blake is shooting 74% at the rim and 72% at the free throw line, it’s smart that his go-to move involves him attacking the basket.

I’m a fan of Blake Griffin; can you tell?  There are a lot of positive things you can take away from his game.  Whether it’s his motor, the way he finishes strong at the rim, his face-up jumpshot, his pick and roll game or his go-to move, the next time you watch Blake Griffin, study what he is doing and see if you can identify something to add to your game.  If you see something you like, contact your local basketball trainer to help you develop that desired skill.  We can’t wait to see you looking more and more like an NBA All Star!