Blake Griffin in a Oklahoma City Thunder uniform

The Oklahoma City Thunder Should Avoid Signing Blake Griffin (2017 Free Agency) 

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Even though the Oklahoma City Thunder are said to be interested in signing Blake Griffin this off-season, they should avoid him at all cost. Throughout this season the Thunder have implemented an offensive system that is centered around the post up as well as the pick and roll. For instance, Russell Westbrook brings the ball up to the three-point line and passes the ball to one of the big men in the low post. If the big man only sees one defender guarding him, he will attempt to back down the defender with one of his shoulders until he reaches a spot where he can try a jump hook, layup or dunk. However, if there is more than one defender on him, he will pass it back out to the perimeter which is what the other team wants. This is because the Thunder are one of the worse three-point shooting teams in the league thus opposing teams will put their whole team below the three-point line which encourages them to shoot.

Occasionally Billy Donovan will tell the team to run a pick and roll where Russell Westbrook brings the ball up to the three point line and then a big man setting a screen. Once the screen is established Russell Westbrook would pay attention to his defender to determine the next course of action, for instance, if the defender went under the screen, Russell Westbrook would go over the screen and take the wide open shot. On the other hand, if the defender went over the screen, Russell Westbrook would go over the screen as well and drive towards the basket where he would score or pass the ball to the player next to him or to the perimeter depending on whether he was double teamed or not. However, in most instances, the defender will go underneath the screen because the opposing team is aware that the Thunder are one of the worse three-point shooting teams in the league. As a result, Russell is forced to make a difficult decision on whether to shoot a three that he is most likely going to miss or take a heavily contested shot near the basket.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Phoenix Suns

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Dallas Mavericks

Team and Opponent Stats

Therefore if the Thunder want to become a legitimate contender in the Western Conference, they should avoid Blake Griffin in free agency. Griffin is a player who likes to receive the ball in the mid to low post and back down the defender with one of his shoulders until he reaches a spot where he can attempt a jump hook. Furthermore, on occasion, he will set a screen for a wing player and pay attention to his defender to determine the next course of action. For instance, if the defender is close to him he would attempt to dive towards the basket. However, if the defender were far away, he would pop for the mid-range jumper. As you can see Blake Griffin needs the ball below the three-point line to be effective thus, it would only further encourage the opposing team to keep their defenders in the painted area.

Blake Griffin Full Highlights 2017.02.26 vs Hornets

Blake Griffin Full Highlights 2017.03.20 vs Knicks

 

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