In A Class By Himself

Blake Griffin.           That should be my whole post.  The mere mention of his name gets NBA fans excited.  As it should.  The Los Angeles Clipper’s rookie poured in 47 points Monday night to go with his 14 rebounds in a 115-107 win over the Indiana Pacers.  The numbers are offensive.  Not only is the point total obviously his career high, but it’s also the most any player has scored in a game this season!  There’s been over 500 games played in the league this season that include the likes of Kobe, LeBron, Durant, Melo, Wade and every other big time scorer, and it’s Big Blake that has the 2010/2011 high.  The kid is doing things that come once a decade; on the actual court and in the box score.  Of course Griffin is a dunking highlight reel waiting to happen, but he’s more than that.  On Monday, Blake scored with offensive rebound/putbacks, jump shots, hook shots, bank shots, and foul shots.  The only other players in NBA history, 21 years of age or younger, to post 47 points and yank 14 rebounds are basketball gods Michael Jordan and Rick Barry.  Heard of ’em?  Forget age and the word ‘rookie’, Blake Griffin is creeping toward the title of ‘top 10’ player in the league.  Oh, it’s true.  Dude is #12 in the league in scoring!  No other rookie is even in the top 65!  One dimensional?  Save it.  Blake is the freaking 4th best rebounder in the L.  No other rookie is in the top 20.  Blake has an astronomical 33 double doubles in just 40 games!  On a nightly basis dude uses opposing defenses as toilet paper.  He’s a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year, but it may be time we transition the topic to one of the best rookies in the history of this game.  With the exception of the earlier era’s of basketball, when lopsided competition would allow a guy like Wilt Chamberlain as a rookie to average 37 points and 27 rebounds, Blake’s performance stacks up to anyone.  Even sensational rookie seasons such as Kevin Durant’s (20 pts, 4 reb), LeBron James’ (20 pts, 5.5 reb), and Dwight Howard’s (12 pts, 10 reb) weren’t as impressive.  I put Blake’s rookie season with the likes of Shaq’s (23 pts, 13 reb) or Michael Jordan’s (28pts, 6.5 reb).  Where you rank Blake is debatable, but the point is he’s in that conversation.  Oh, and by the way, Blake has single-handedly made the Clippers relevant again.  In the past week they’ve beaten the Pacers, Lakers and Heat (All playoff teams).  Ever since the Clippers horrible 1-13 start, Griffin has averaged a ‘fantasy friendly’ 25.6 points and 14 rebounds.  Not once has the rookie scored single digits this season.  Blake’s ‘worst’ performance in the last 26 games was 13 points and 11 rebounds.  To put it in perspective, those numbers are bit better than Tim Duncan’s season averages.  Blake Griffin has a motor on him like Kevin Love, the power in his game like Dwight Howard, and the athleticism of Dominique Wilkins.  Am I on his jock a bit?  Yup.  Should you be?  Yup.  Hate it or love it, the barely-legal-to-drink Griffin is the future of this game.  The bandwagon is here, get on or get off.  You know where I stand.

For your viewing pleasure, check the highlights from Monday’s game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0ikcLWYzfo

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15 Responses to In A Class By Himself

  1. James says:

    It would be nice if we had passwords and log-ins like many other sports blogs. I know this probably isn’t an option at WordPress, but this name stealing is getting obnoxious. Even my posting under the name “James” (which doesnt really reveal anything about who I am) has now been copied. If you’ve got something to say, just say it under your own name. Can it really be that much fun trying to incite people on a sports blog by posting under other peoples names?

    • Evan Lane says:

      I second this. people arguing and trash talking and everyone teaming up against joe harris is one thing. Getting on here and seeing that people have been reading stuff they think you wrote and didn’t, is another thing.

  2. ByesLine says:

    I got into a large debate last night about this post so I just want to clarify a few things. I said blake is creeping toward top 10, meaning he is not a top 10 guy right now, but eventually could be. There’s roughly 400 guys in the league, and I’d put Blake at this moment in time in the top 20/25 guys. Granted, he’s only played 40 games, so am I sure he wont flame out? Of course not, but if you look at the guys over the last 20 years who’ve done what Griffin has done thus far, those guys are bonafide all star/HOF guys. I can only judge the fruit that is actually on the tree. I would never slight a guy because he hasn’t played for years in the L. Wednesday’s game against the TWolves should be a very interesing matchup between Love/Griffin. 2 of the brightest stars in the L at any age. Game on.

    • Evan Lane says:

      i didn’t write this, we are having a big probelm on byesline with people commenting under other people’s names. I changed my name to “the real Evan Lane” to show byesline that a message he had to delete wasn’t written by me and now someone is posting under that title. This is well written and almost touches on my writing style, and i kinda agree with it… but i didn’t write it. This shit is getting old. People need to use their own name on this blog.

  3. Rocco says:

    Love vs Griffen tomorrow night! lets wait and see

  4. Evan Lane says:

    Doesn’t everyone on the blog think we should wait to see what Griffin said in his interview with Joe Harris before we go making conclusions?

    Seriously though, looking at his accomplishments so far this season it is hard not to imagine Griffin developing into a legendary player. If you only look at his statistics considering his age its impressive. If you only look at his highlight tape without his statistics, its ridiculous. If you combine the statistics with the highlights it makes the imagination go wild. However I think some more time is needed to really see whether he is a future legend or simply a super talented guy who dominates (yes there is a big difference). To be a legend you have to dominate in many ways throughout the different transitions of a professional career. In order to do this you have to be very intelligent, passionate about winning, and unwilling to let yourself be outworked. Also, you have to be able to dominate when your athleticism leaves you. These are the differences between guys like Kobe, Jordan, and Bird compared to guys like Tracy McGrady, Shawn Kemp, and Stephon Marbury. I’m not saying he wont be a legend but I haven’t seen any of these things yet. We won’t until more time passes.

    I do think he has made his team better though James. They have won 10 of their last 14 games and the team has rallied behind him. As far as what byesline said about comparing his rookie season to Lebron, well Lebron was 18 when he was a rookie. There is a big difference. I don’t mean to undermine the season he is having but the comparison is slightly flawed.

    • James says:

      Agreed. The Clips are playing some good ball right now. I said “He can score it and haul down the boards, but it would be nice to see him make his team better in a third way.” As in his scoring and rebounding are already two ways he helps. Furthermore, few things help the rest of a team more than a player who commands a double team. I’ve watched a few Clips games this year and he gets doubled about half the time he catches the ball in the low post, by my estimate. When that becomes an automatic double team (if it hasnt already) the Clips will only improve even more. Combine the scoring and rebounding skills he already has with Pau or Shaq’s passing (as measured by A/TO), KG’s on-ball defense, Dwight Howard’s presence in the lane, or even the ability to play point-forward Odom-style and his game will take the next step and become an elite player. For all of his gaudy stats his TS% isnt incredible (mostly cause he cant make a free throw) and he doesnt block/steal enough to account for his TO’s. But again, nitpicky, he is one of the great rookies of my generation.

      • James says:

        And I meant pass out of the post, when talking about Pau and Shaq’s passing. Blake seems to be a good passer on the perimeter and when running the break, but I dont think anyone would argue he passes out of the post like Pau or Shaq in his prime.

      • the real Evan Lane says:

        yeah i agree with all that. especially about the double team and passing out of a double team in the post. That is a huge deal for a team really being a legit threat.

    • Evan Lane says:

      Rocco you can really say that? I mean i agree that he has way more ability then bird ever did but i don’t agree it was because of his “injury” that he couldn’t sustain and maximize that ability. When you see a dude catch the ball, square up, take a killer first step, cross over, and then dunk on two people on one possession and on the next possession not even slide his feet on D and let some one get a lay-up thats not because of injury…it’s a lack of passion. I don’t doubt he was injured at one point but i don’t think it is up for debate that the dude just gives up sometimes and really doesn’t care about winning. He has won less the 5 playoff games in his entire career! But let me use Grant Hill as an example. Look at how is Passion allowed him to overcome an injury that was way worse then anything T-mac ever had. Kobe plays with broken fingers and a torn meniscus. We all know what Jordan played through. You think T-mac would ever have the heart to score 38 in the finals with the flu? C’mon man T-mac clearly has all the tools and lacks all the heart. He is the epitome of the “Super talented under-achiever” Admit it….

    • Evan Lane says:

      I think it may have been joe harris and not rocco as well. either way i mean what i said and it sucks we don’t know who wrote what thanks to joe harris.

  5. Rocco says:

    Your out of control byesline. Blake isn’t close to being a top 10 player. His team wouldn’t be 15-25. Top 10 players don’t let there team do that. I mean Wilson chandler for the knicks is avg 17.5 points a game. Scoring and numbers aren’t everything. No one takes the clips for real and blake gets buckets that don’t mean shit. Winning and winning in the playoffs are the only thing that means something. He can’t cover a player like duncan, gasol,odom, dirk, milsap,david west. They would all eat him in the playoffs and score on him at will. He doesn’t play that good of defense really. Then again he plays for the clips how good is he really going to be? Let the young kid play 82 games before you give him any status….. I mean look at a player like steve franics for the first 5 years of his carrier his numbers are out of control. Something like 20 5 and 5?? The guy fell off like a water fall.!

    • Anonymous says:

      Roc just a couple things, first being Byesline said he is creeping towards Top 10 status, he didn’t say he’s there yet. That being said, the numbers speak for themselves. I hope you don’t really think that just because a player is on a bad team that it dismisses his accomplishments. No one takes the Clips seriously? Come on, that’s pure subjective opinion, hardly to be used in determining how good a player is. The guy is the runaway ROY, that alone gives him cred. Is Kevin Love a guy with garbage stats because he plays on the TWolves? What about Kobe when he played on garbage Laker teams post Shaq? The bottom line is so far what we have seen from Griffin is absolutely ridiculous. That’s hardly out of control.

  6. jB says:

    First off, I feel bad for that Knicks player in the pic getting violated like that, Blake is clearly taking advantage of him.
    That being said, this guy is ridiculous. He’s this good in his first year? What is he going to be doing in 5-7 years when he has a better jumper, better defensive reactions and better ball handling. I hate to get ahead of myself but I can’t help imagining that this guy has the potential to be the best ever at this position. Sadly for Clippers fans he will probably be out the door to the Lakers as soon as his contract is up.

  7. James says:

    Griffin is definitely one of the most exciting players on the planet. He stacks up well with the great rookie seasons of all time and, as he continues to develop, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him put up a 30-15 season one of these years (imagine that!). If there’s one flaw to his game its that he is too two-dimensional (Yes, I know at least half of the NBA doesnt even have one dimension they can perform adequately). He can score it and haul down the boards, but it would be nice to see him make his team better in a third way. If he can add steals or blocked shots or solid on-ball or help defense or a few more assists to his repertoire, we could be looking at one of the greats of all-time, at any position… And I know this criticism is akin to overlooking the performance and design features of a Ferrari and bitching about how few cup holders it has. But the man is already like Karl Malone in his prime with a slightly better handle and mid range J (on offense). If he improves defensively (and most players do, after their rookie seasons) he really could be a legend. I know it seems really early to say something like that (I’m sure a certain commenter on this blog was saying similar things about b Jennings last year) but watch him play. He’s got all the tools needed.

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