I had a chance on Tuesday to look at some advanced numbers from Blake Griffin’s sophomore year at Oklahoma, and posted about it at TrueHoop:
- The first thing that jumps off the page in Griffin’s report is the percentage of his offense that comes from post-ups — 44%. To put that in perspective, Al Horford came ouf of Florida with a 43% number, but you’d be hard-pressed to find many amateurs who get out of the 30s. Horford was a bit more efficient than Griffin on the block (1.11 vs. 1.00 points per possession), but Griffin’s number is still very strong. As the Synergy report states, “Blake’s proficiency in this area will not only produce a high percentage shots for his team when he goes to work on the block, it will also create open shots for his teammates when players are forced to leave their men to help defend Blake’s post-ups.”
- Baron Davis, take note: Griffin’s numbers indicate that he moves as well off the ball as any big man we’ve seen in recent years. He recorded a whopping 1.5 points per possession on cuts. The reports says it all, “This indicates that Blake is active, has good hands, and knows how to score the ball attacking the rim. This is a valuable asset that produces easy scores and cause the defense to track yet another offensive threat. Combine a good passing point guard with Blake and his team will burn the defense in this type of offense.”
- Griffin will need to spend a lot of time developing his jump shot. He generated only 0.64 points per possession on spot-ups. At Oklahoma, those opportunities accounted for only 2% of his offense, but at the pro level, he can’t be an elite power forward without some range.
- Griffin is a terrific big man in transition, where he chalked up 1.32 points per possession. The comp here is Brandan Wright, who had similar success on the break at Carolina in 2007-08. If the Clippers can get stops and control the defensive glass (two big ifs), they’ll be able to use Griffin to get out of the offensive efficiency cellar — they finished 30th in the league last season.
There’s some other interesting stuff in the data. Griffin is an efficient scorer on both blocks. He works from the left block 51% of the time, and the right block 41% of the time, averaging 0.99 PPP and 1.01 PPP respectively. Once he gets the ball, Griffin prefers to spin baseline — which makes sense given that he hasn’t yet developed a face-up game. Expect to see defenders to cut off that baseline in his rookie campaign and force him to shoot from the middle of the lane.
When we talk about Griffin’s development as a pro, we spend most of our time discussing his shooting — but learning to play pick-and-roll basketball will be another vital piece to his maturation as a big man. Pick-and-rolls accounted for only 3% of his offensive possessions at Oklahoma last season, which isn’t abnormal at all. Only a few college programs — like Texas and Ohio State in recent seasons — run a pro-style offense. Griffin has the quicks, athleticism, and body to be a phenomenal PNR player. Watching him cultivate that part of the game will be even more satisfying than watching him refine his jump shot — particularly as he and Eric Gordon establish a two-man game.