Blake Griffin a bust?
He just had one of the greatest NCAA seasons in recent memory, averaging 28 and 15 in the tournament. Everyone has him as a lock to be the first pick, and considers him the only can't miss prospect in the draft, with good size to go with fantastic explosiveness. A sure thing. Is it possible they're wrong?
He has a standing reach of only 8'9"
I know a lot of people hate the idea of measurements. How can measurements cast doubt on the season we all just saw?
Draft express has all the measurements going back historically. You can sort them by reach:
I don't want him to be a bust, he seems like a great kid. But let's face it, he has no shot or outside game at this point in his development. His success has all been built on overpowering people. If his ability to do that in the NBA is in doubt due to size issues, he's no longer a sure thing. If you look at the list above, it's sorted by standing reach. Just take an honest look, Blake at 8'9" falls below a lot of average sized NBA SFs:
Beasley is at 8'11" and he's being moved to SF and has a great outside shot.
Most good PFs are in the 9'+ range. I couldn't find a single good PF with a reach <= Griffin's. I challenge anyone to find even one. 3+ inches is a lot! Anyone think he can be a star SF? I don't. We're talking about the #1 pick overall - if he doesn't become an allstar, he'll be labelled a bust. Some people were even considering he would play some center...
At the very least, he's no longer a sure thing in my mind.
His leaping ability will be as high or higher than anyone else!
noone is a sure thing...he may be another bust....
But most people like his drive. He may be the greatest PF to ever come in the league
but he may also be a bust...
Valid point, but really his WORST case scenario is a Kenyon Martin type player, who was also #1 but can hardly be called a bust
You have to remember its been a few months since we've seen him play, so doubts come up (OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND) but looking back at his games/clips...forget about it. Th only chance of him being a bust was if he measured shorter...but he's a legit 6'9. Its a wrap.
Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Troy Murphy are all below 9 feet. That's just a quick review. They have all done fine at the position, and I don't think any of them have half of Blake's raw athleticism.
He may not succeed...but it won't be because of an inch or two on his standing reach.
Like you were saying he dosent have the highest standing reach... but you know who has an 8'10.5 reach (only and inch and a half higher) the freak of all freakishly long arms...Josh Smith.
Plus, if I remember correctly (I'm fairly young) Karl Malone didnt have the longest arms OR the greatest athleticism OR a jumper when he came into the league. He turned out pretty well didnt he? Blake has vastly superior athleticism and is only a sophomore coming into the league.
Sure all the physical gifts help, but what matters most in post players is drive, motivation and toughness, and Blake has all those and some. Look at a couple of the greatest PF of all time...Charles Barkley was a midget by NBA standards and like I said Malone wasnt the greatest athlete ever. In short, I dont think a couple inches of reach is gonna be the sole reason that Blake Griffin succeeds or fails in the leauge.
I dont think he will be a bust. That all depends on what you expect from him though. I expect him to be a great second option in a few years to Eric Gordon. As far as what you are expecting to get in a number one pick, he may be a bust. He wont have the same impact as some of the great number ones, but he will a good/great player. I see a few all-star games in his future but he is not a franchise changing player. Good, maybe great but not one of the greatest. I could be wrong but i see him being an Amare clone.
How many of the guys you listed can accidentally hit their head on the backboard when dunking? Blake not having a great standing reach just means he may not be a huge shot blocker. That is ok, because playing defense is more than just blocking shots.
Wow is Blake Griffin is 6' 8 with out shoes scary but I don’t think Clippers pass on him. Blake Griffin- Oklahoma- with out shoes 6' 8.5" -with shoes 6' 10"
I really don’t think Blake will be a bust but I think the media is putting to much hype and pressure on him. I say you have to wait till he develops a mid range game and also I think his atheism will help him a lot in the NBA. Just don’t expect him to make in impact right away. If you’re the Clippers be patient.
We can't sit at our computers and say some guys like Blake Griffin are bust. First of all, he did the right thing last year by coming back for another year in college, which helped his game a lot. Secondly, his stats was better because he returned to college and he's a hard worker. Finally, I don't see him as a Bust at all, Blake Griffin is K-mart at worst and at best a Athlete Carlos Boozer or he can be his only player like lebron and Kobe.
We don't have enough information at this point to say whether he will be a bust or not. Until he gets substantial playing time on the floor against actual NBA teams, it'll all be projection and conjecture. Will the measurements cast doubts? Of course -- particularly when he's already known as a pretty shoddy defender.
Griffin played in a mediocre college conference where nobody could match his size or athleticism down low. He played non-existant help defense, focused almost exclusively on rebounding to the point of putting himself out of position defensively ... and now we find out that his standing reach is worse than initially perceived?
While this isn't going to really impact him in the draft, and he looks like he can overcome any weakness with sheer athleticism, it does bring about doubts of just how complete of a player he will be at the NBA level -- particularly when he's going to be consistently asked to guard the Duncan/Amare/Aldridge/numerous-other-elite PFs at the NBA level.
So in summary -- yes he might be a bust. Do I think he'll be a bust? No. But if any team can develop a player INTO a bust, it'd have to be the Clippers.
Thank you all for your comments. Really I wasn't saying that he WILL definitely be a bust, just that this number casts some doubts that are worth considering.
Some parting reach comparisons at PF:
Amare 9' 0.5"
Aldridge 9' 2"
Brand 9' 2"
Al Jefferson 9' 2"
Bosh 9' 1"
Boozer 9' 0.5"
Duncan (unknown, but he's 7' 1" tall... so probably over 9')
Garnett (unknown, but he's 7' tall... so probably over 9')
All the all-star PFs will have a 3-5 inch reach advantage over him...
Griffin could be a bust if you're looking at impacts the #1 picks are expected to bring about. But in this draft, there aren't really any surefire franchise changing talents like Rose, LeBron etc. So to say he's a bust when he could be the best player at the end of the draft is quite harsh. Compare him to his peers, not with other drafts.
You never know for sure who will become a star in the NBA. But one thing I do know, one or two inches will not matter in this year's draft. Blake Griffin dominated college basketball and he will be the number one pick. I don't think any of his opponents looked at or cared about his measurements. They saw a guy who was a monster on the boards and an unstoppable offensive force. Nobody was even close.
Every GM in the league wants Blake Griffin on their team. And if they have any intelligence at all [that in itself would be unusual for an NBA GM], they would never let a measurement change that desire.
Maybe Griffin will and maybe he won't become an NBA All Star, but one or two inches won't be the deciding factor. It's all about the game and how he plays it. Measurements are interesting fodder for discussion, but that's not how you evaluate players.
Do you think any of Oklahoma's opponents this past season cared about Blake's measurements? All they cared about was trying to defend against a guy who was a monster on the boards and an unstoppable force on offense.
His "out of this world" leaping ability more than makes up for his standing reach. He's just too talented and too much of a hard worker to be a bust. He may not be one of the all time greats, but I think he will eventually be a 20-10 guy who makes all star teams. As far as his shooting ability, Karl Malone and Chris Webber had absolutely no jump shot in college. These guys developed a good jump shot in the NBA. Griffin will only be a bust if he has injury problems.
The Clippers are fools if they pass him up, even if they already have Zack Randolph (who is a lazy headcase). By the way, does anyone know how long Randolph is under contract with the Clippers?
Randolph has 2 more years with the Clips, not too long any more on that bad contract, in one year it will be an asset...
To address the points made here:
1) 8-9 standing reach -- yes, but again he compensates for it with his combination of strength and explosiveness. He's 20 years old, 248 lbs. and has an opportunity to put on another 10-15 lbs. of solid muscle. OK, someone with a 9-1 reach has an advantage over him - IF they can manage to box him out/body him out and IF they manage to jump as quickly and as high as he can.
2) Weak conference - again, look at the NCAA Tournament stats. That should dispel any doubts whatsoever,
3) His lack of a jumpshot - a jumpshot is the EASIEST skill to develop in the NBA. Yes, you read that right. How many guys have we seen who've developed greater range? Quite a few. Was Antawn Jamison much of an outside shooter at UNC? Examples abound. He can pass, he can rebound and he can handle. I see similarities to Chris Webber.
Look, I've been following the draft closely since the early 90s. I participated in the original USENET mock drafts. If Blake Griffin's a bust (injury aside), I'll eat my hat.
actually chris webber was one of there best three point shooters.....boozer on the other hand didnt have a jump shot....pretty much anyone every year could have possibly been a bust if he is gonna be a bust it wont be because of measurements..though i doubt he will be because he has all the tools and most important of all hes a very hard worker and those things just dont equal bust..
neither duncan or garnett are 7'1 they are 6'11 flat