How To Build A Team Around Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin Before The 2014-15 Season

Over the past few seasons, Blake Griffin has started the process of transforming his style of play in anticipation of a decline in athleticism. During his first four NBA seasons, the Los Angeles Clippers used Blake in the low post or as a screener in the pick and roll. For instance, the point guard will bring the ball up to the three-point line and passes it to Blake Griffin in the low post area. Once that happens, the Blake Griffin will attempt to back down the defender with one of his shoulders to get within comfortable range to shoot a jump hook. Another example of this is when the point guard will bring the ball up to the three-point line and passes it to another perimeter player. The second perimeter will either dump the ball into the post or pass it to a third perimeter player, and he will throw it into the post to start the process of attempting to get a jump hook. However, there are instances where Los Angeles Clippers used Blake Griffin as a screener in the pick and roll. For example, the point guard would bring the ball up to the three-point line and then Griffin would set a screen. Once the pick was set, he would analyze how the defender chooses to defend him. For instance, if his defender decided to come up and cover the point guard, he would roll to the basket in hopes of dunking the ball. On the other hand, if his defender chose to stay back, he would pop out to the free throw line and stand there until the possession was over.

Blake Griffin During And After The 2014-15 Season

However, there was a significant difference in Blake Griffin’s style of play during his fifth season. Blake decided that he was going to reduce the number of dunks to shoot more mid-range jumpers. According to Basketball-Reference, Blake took 37.8 percent of his shots from 16 to 22 feet which was an 11.1 percent increase from the previous year. On the other hand, only 8 percent of his shots were dunks which was a decrease of 6.2 percent from the previous year. The change was most visible when Griffin played the role of a screener in the pick and roll. For example, he would perform a slide step or pop out to get in position for the jump shot instead of rolling to the basket to attempt a dunk. Over the next few years, Blake Griffin continued to extend his range to the point where he feels comfortable shooting from behind the arc now. According to Basketball-Reference, Blake took 32.3 percent of his shots from behind the arc this past season which was a 20.7 percent increase from the previous year.

Not only has Blake Griffin become more of a jump shooter, but he has also become an adequate playmaker. For example, Blake would grab the rebound and run down the court to get the attention of the defense. If this occurs, he will look to kick the basketball out to one of the players running down the wing. On the other hand, if it doesn’t happen, he will continue driving to the basket looking to get around the defender for an open shot or draw a foul. However, there were instances where he would hold or repeatedly dribble the ball in an attempt to draw a double team. If this occurs, he will pass the ball to the open player on the perimeter to shoot a three.

How To Build A Team Around Blake Griffin

Due to the transformation of Blake Griffin, he should be in a system similar to LeBron James where he can be the primary ball handler because it allows him to analyze the defense to determine what is the right play. In this offense, Blake would walk the ball up until the three-point line and evaluate how the defenders are positioned. For instance, if a defender is playing off of a three-point shooter, he is supposed to pass the ball to the wide-open shooter. On the other hand, if all the defenders are staying close to their man, he is expected to evaluate the size of his defender. If the defender is smaller than him, he should post up in the mid to low block and back him down until he can to a spot where he can shoot a jumper. But if his defender is the same size as him, he should use his speed and strength to get around him to attack the basket. However, there will be some instances where the defense will collapse on him, and he should pass the ball to the perimeter for the wide open three. Furthermore, on occasion, the team may have to use some different sets within the LeBron’s playbook to prevent from becoming a predictable offense. For example, the team may have Griffin act like he is going to post up at the free throw line and have him pass the ball to a teammate doing a backdoor cut to the basket.

As a result, a team would have to surround Blake Griffin with players who can catch and shoot or know how to move without the ball. However, not only will a team have to acquire three-point shooters but they need to find players who are outstanding defenders. This is because he will use defensive possessions to catch his breath to have enough energy for the next offensive possession. As a result of this, a team should target players like Matthew Dellavedova, Patrick Beverley, Avery Bradley, Tony Snell and Paul George. All of these players shoot above 36 percent from behind the arc for their careers and are known as excellent defenders. For example, these players will crowd the space of the ball handler forcing them to pick up the dribble and turn sideways. Once this happens, they will go for the steal or run to a spot on the same side the ball handler is looking at to cut off the potential pathway. After this happens, the ball handler has two choices, take a contested shot or pass the ball.

In conclusion, if a team were to fill out the roster with those type of players, it would give Blake Griffin an opportunity to reach the second round or possibly the Conference Finals.

How MIles Bridges Can Become A Successful NBA Player

How MIles Bridges Was Used At Michigan State

Throughout the 2017-18 season, the Michigan State Spartans primarily used MIles Bridges as an off the ball perimeter player. For instance, MIles would jog up one of the wings as another perimeter player brought the basketball up to the three-point line. Once this happened, Bridges would station himself behind the three-point line anywhere between the wing and corner. He would stay in that spot for most of the possession unless the perimeter player could not find an open angle or lane to pass the ball into the post successfully. If this happens, the perimeter player passed the basketball directly to MIles Bridges, or he would pass it to a second player who was in charge of giving the ball to Bridges. After MIles received the basketball, he would analyze the defender to determine the next course of action. If the defender gives him space, he would shoot the three-pointer. On the other hand, if the defender plays him tight, would either pass the ball to a teammate or drive towards the basket for an easy basket, to draw a foul or attract a double team. However, if the perimeter player found an open angle or lane to pass the ball into the post successfully, MIles Bridges would stand behind the three-point line as a bystander.

How MIles Bridges Should Be Used In The NBA

As a result of this, MIles Bridges should be selected by an NBA team that has an offensive system similar to Michigan State or a player who can suck in the defense. This is because Bridges spent the majority of his college career as an off the ball perimeter player that it is the quickest way for him to have an impact in the NBA. However, if the team wants him to be more of a playmaker, he would need a minimum of a few months to adjust the new role. For example, MIles would need a significant amount of practice to see if he could improve his court vision, ball handling and passing ability to the point where he becomes an above average playmaker on a consistent basis.

How Mikal Bridges Can Become A Successful NBA Player

Throughout the 2017-18 season, the Villanova Wildcats implemented an offensive system centered around using ball movement to find an open three-point shot. For instance, Jalen Brunson would bring the ball up to the three-point line and pass the basketball to a teammate like Mikal Bridges. Once this happens, the teammate will analyze how the defender chooses to defend him. If the defender gives him space, he will shoot the three-pointer. On the other hand, if the defender plays him tight, the teammate will give the ball to another player who is going to restart the process of analyzing the defender. If the team hasn’t taken a shot after 3-4 passes, the person with the ball will start driving to the basket in hopes of getting the defense to collapse on him. If this occurs, he will look to kick the basketball out to the perimeter for a wide-open three-pointer. On the other hand, if it doesn’t happen, the player will continue driving to the basket looking to get around the defender for an open shot or draw a foul.

 

As a result of the system, Mikal Bridges played the role of a shooter who occasionally put the basketball on the floor. For example, Bridges would run near one of the sidelines until he reached the three-point line. Once this happened, Mikal would stand on the wing or go to the corner in hopes of receiving the pass to start the process of analyzing the defender. However, if Bridges were the recipient of the third or fourth pass, he would start driving to the basket to try to get the defense to collapse on him. If this occurs, he will look to kick the basketball out to the perimeter for a wide-open three-pointer. On the other hand, if it doesn’t happen, Bridges continued driving and would often draw fouls or take contested shots because he could not get around the defender.

 

Due to this,  Mikal Bridges should be drafted by an NBA team with a player who can suck in the defense. This is because it would allow him to contribute as a shooter while he is learning other ways to get around defenders.

How Trae Young Can Become A Successful NBA Player

Throughout the 2017-18 season, the Oklahoma Sooners primarily used Trae Young as a three-point shooter or the ball handler in the pick and roll. For instance, Trae would bring the ball up to the three-point line and then a big man would set a screen. Once the pick was set Young would pay attention to his defender to determine the next course of action, for instance, if the defender went under the screen, Trae Young would go over it and take the wide-open shot. On the other hand, if the defender went over the screen, Trae would go over it 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. Another example of this is when Young would bring the ball up to the three-point line and passes the ball to a teammate nearby. Once this happens, he will take a few steps toward the basket and turn around to run back to the three-point line. After this happens, Young will get the basketball again to restart the process of the pick and roll.

However, there are instances where Trae Young becomes a three-point shooter. For example, Trae would dribble the ball to about half court and pay attention to his defender to determine the next course of action. If the defender gave him a few feet of space, he would pull up to shoot the wide-open three-pointer. On the other hand, if the defender played him tight, he would perform a couple of crossovers to create the space needed to shoot the three-pointer. As a result of this, the NBA team who selects Trae Young in the draft should implement a similar system to the Oklahoma Sooners. This is because Trae has developed a habit of being a three-point shooter or the ball handler in the pick and roll that it is the quickest way for him to have an impact in the NBA.