Blake Griffin has played really big for the Los Angeles Clippers all season long. He is putting up incredible, MVP-like numbers. He also led Lob City to an impressive course when Chris Paul was sidelined with an injury and he has managed to improve his game in several different sectors. However, there is one big question around BG as we head to the playoffs. Will he be able to play big for the Clips during the postseason?
After two consecutive unsuccessful playoff courses the Clipper Nation expects something better this year. This should be the year the Clippers make the difference, the year they take the next step and Blake Griffin has to be the one showing the way. For sure, his 24.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game up to now in the season are impressive. And yes he is fairly considered as the strongest runner-up for the MVP award, right behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Nonetheless, his career playoff performance hasn’t been as impressive.
BG is averaging just 17.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and also 2.5 assists during the postseason, numbers not even close to his regular season ones. In fact, Griffin seemed like he suffered from lack of focus and emotion control during the postseason.
Some can blame injury issues for Griffin’s struggles last year, when the Clippers exited the playoffs in the first round. However, the dominance of the Grizzlies’ frontline was obvious. Even if Griffin was at his 100 percent, he most probably wouldn’t have been in a position to match with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.
Thankfully, this year, Lob City won’t play against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. However, Griffin won’t have an easy job unfolding his offense against Andrew Bogut and possibly David Lee, if the Dubs’ star manages to return from his injury during the postseason.
It’s true that Griffin has shown much improvement in areas that he was bleeding last year. Free throw shooting was one of them. A 64.0 percent career shooter from the charity stripe, Griffin has improved his free-throw shooting to a 71.0 percent rate this season. This seven percent margin can definitely play a role during the playoffs, when Lob City will need Griffin to attack the basket, get to the line and score easy points.
Defense still remains the Achilles’ heel for the highflying superstar. For a player with his size, his body strength and athletic abilities, it’s notable that Griffin won’t make anyone’s All-NBA-First Team Defense this season. Thankfully, LA still has DeAndre Jordan onboard, who usually is the one making sure the paint is barricaded.
Mental balance is another crucial factor for Griffin’s performance and as a result Lob City’s playoff course. Sometimes BG can’t control his emotions and his reactions result in him picking up technical fouls. Fair or unfair, the Clippers can’t afford to lose their leading scorer in any game of the postseason. This will most probably an area Doc Rivers will have to work his magic. If there is one Head Coach in the NBA who can get into the head of his players and make them think clearer and in a more mature manner, that’s Doc Rivers.
Blake Griffin will be a huge factor in the Clippers’ course this season. Hopefully, he will manage to avoid lethargic performances similar to the previous season.
The LA Clippers will start the post season with home court advantage with just two games left in the season this week one against the Trail Blazers and the other against the Nuggets there is a good chance Blake will get a bit of needed rest. A Clippers Vs Warriors match up is looking like it will be the first test for the Clippers in the 2014 playoffs. You can purchase Clippers Playoff Tickets from Barry’s Tickets an Official Partner of the LA Clippers.
Barry’s Tickets is located just caddy-corner from the Staples Center
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
213 749 0057
BY: Chris M.