Who is Blake Griffin?

Blake Griffin was drafted as the first overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Los Angeles Clippers after playing 2 years at Oklahoma. The Clippers had a history for bad draft picks, especially big men such as Michael Olowokandi in 1998. Griffin averaged 14 points and 9 assists at Oklahoma, but prompted many fans and scouts to think that maybe the dominating figure of Hasheem Thabeet would be the better fit. Griffin unfortunately couldn’t prove doubters wrong, missing the whole 2009/2010 season, a la Greg Oden the year before. Thabeet didn’t do much either for the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 3 points and 4 rebounds per game, posting very disappointing numbers in his rookie year. Griffin finally had his big chance this year, and he has not disappointed, averaging 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists a night through December 16th. As DJ Foster points out on his weekly mailbag on the Clippers’ website, Griffin’s rookie numbers are quite identical to Tim Duncan’s rookie stats. Duncan averaged 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. See the similarities? I certainly do. But Griffin is looking like a young Shawn Kemp, flying through the air and soaring for highlight-reel dunks without end. His rim-rattling approach is making the lowly Clippers a hot team to watch- all because of one man. His fearfulness is making many worry. What if he falls awkwardly and hurts himself again? Griffin might need to develop more of a jump shot, post up approach, instead of the “I’m going to dunk on that guy” way of thinking. Either way, his talent is undoubtedly there, and we’ll all be watching him. All we need is a good nickname.

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