Reason 46: How will Blake Griffin’s second season shape out?
Being drafted with the No. 1 overall pick carries a ton of baggage and expectations. When Blake Griffin was taken with the first selection in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, many expected huge things from the 6’10” forward out of the University of Oklahoma. But a knee injury in the preseason caused Griffin to miss the entire 2009-10 season. Fast forward a year to the 2010-2011 season and the anticipation of Griffin’s debut became a reality. And the man we now call the “Blake Effect” didn’t disappoint one bit. To go along with his emphatic, often seemingly human impossible dunks, Griffin averaged a double-double (22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds) in 82 starts for the Clippers last season. Although his numbers were superb for being technically a rookie last season, Griffin relied more often on his athleticism in dominating the opposition, as stated by analysts on ESPN or during games. Nonetheless, he was awarded an All-Star appearance (despite Andre Miller’s opinion of the selection), earned Rookie of the Year honors and won the 2011 NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, while proving to NBA fans his knee injury wouldn’t be a setback. Come the 2011-12 season, with a year of NBA experience under his belt, the thought of Griffin’s upside is unreal and a nightmare for defenses. With the development of some low-post moves around the rim, Griffin will not only build on his rookie campaign numbers, but could elevate his game into the upper echelon of NBA talent in the upcoming years.