Tuesday, April 12, 2011
A little diffculty in telling the truth about Blake Griffin
You may not have heard of Randy Hill. I haven't either.
But apparently he has been covering the NBA for 25 years "as a beat writer and columnist." Judging by his latest work, I'd imagine he has done so without quite as much concern for the details as we might hope for from our national columnists/beat writers.
I wouldn't normally find my way towards his work (or to that of his contemporaries at the Fox Sports site, for that matter), but a friend suggested I take a peak at this guy's take on the Clippers season. Considering I watch every game, read nearly everything written and even occasionally write about them myself, I was interested to see what this guy had to say. As it turns out, said interest was not warranted.
OK, we'll pretend this team won't be sabotaged by management to a degree that affects what happens on the court . . . for now. Let's just deal with on-court potential.Typical Clipper-bashing bullshit. All it takes is a quick glance to see that management has actually been pretty sound of late. If he meant "ownership," then that's another story, but as a columnist and beat writer of 25 years, I'd expect him to know the difference between the two.
Unfortunately, I'm not sold on Vinny Del Negro as promised-land-taking material from the catbird coaching seat.Don't know what this means. If he's saying Vinny might not be a great coach, I'd agree (more on that at ClipperBlog in the next week or so).
But the continued rise of Blake Griffin and his young-ish cronies could be enough to sniff playoff contention.Young-ish? What's "ish" about Al-Farouq Aminu (20), Eric Bledsoe (21), DeAndre Jordan (22) and Eric Gordon (22), the guys he's presumably talking about?
Now we'll have to see if Griffin continues growing into a brooding, posturing celebrity. He seems to be well on his way to ego-explosion status. When his Q-rating began to soar, several outside observers noticed a negative change in Griffin's body language and general court demeanor.What outside observers are you talking about, Randy? And who gives a shit what "outside observers" think about his body language? I can literally not think of anything of less concern than Blake Griffin's body language. Actually, that's not true. The one thing I'm less concerned about than Blake Griffin's body language is what "outside observers" think of it.
If he continues to improve his skills and plays really hard, the Clippers and their fans won't care.Truth. Although he doesn't even have to "improve his skills" for this to be true. In fact, he could actually regress some and "the Clippers and their fans" probably still won't care.
Now here's what makes him either bad at his job or prone to submitting work that is not fit to be read...
In the Clips games I've watched, Griffin has made a few trips to the free-throw line, but not nearly as many as his basket attacks should dictate. It might help if he quits attempting to stare down the referees . . . especially the real charmers like Steve Javie.Blake Griffin is currently 2nd in the NBA, with 8.7 free throws attempted per game. Go ahead, sort it. He trails only MVP-worthy Dwight Howard on that list. He is 2nd in the league in dunks (or "basket attacks," as you might call them), behind Howard. Seems like he is right about where he should be in that regard, no?
In fact, if you want to look at this on a rate basis, you can see that Griffin Free Throw Rate (ratio of free throws to field goals attempted) puts him in a select group that includes nine guys who never leave the paint, four guards, and the 6'10" superstar who combines all their best assets, smashes them into a ball, takes that ball ferociously to the hoop, dunks it, glares at Steve Javie, and heads to the free throw line.