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 To Beat Michael Venom Page

Michael Venom Page’s Fighting Style

Throughout his MMA career, Michael Venom Page has shown a tendency to walk down his opponents in a sideways orthodox stance trying to get them into striking range. If he can achieve the goal, Venom would stand on the edge of the pocket and constantly change switch stances. For example, Michael would start rounds in an orthodox stance repeatedly throwing the left jab followed by an occasional straight right. However, halfway through the round Page would go to a southpaw stance to throw the right leg side kick to the body and legs. Not only will Page switch stances to throw the left jab and right leg side kick but he also would occasionally square up to throw a right flying knee. The stance switching forced opponents to stand in place for a substantial amount of time as they tried to figure out what is the best strategy to close the distance and land some strikes. For instance, Fernando González spent large chunks of the fight against Michael “Venom” Page standing in place with his hands positioned at or above the jawline. This is because González had a hard time figuring out what was the best way to close the distance and land some strikes. As a result, Page repeatedly landed the left jab or right leg side kick without much resistance.

How To Beat Michael Venom Page

However, one can argue that Michael Venom Page fighting style will be the catalyst for his first loss. This is because every time he moves forward to close the distance, Page has his hands down by his side. Due to this, Michael is continuously giving his opponents an opportunity to land punches to the body without resistance. As a result of this, when Michael “Venom” Page comes forward, his opponent should look to land a couple strikes to the exposed chest and abdomen. After this happens, the opponent should either cover up or slightly slide back to avoid much damage until Michael is done. When Page is finished with the combination, the opponent should restart the process of attacking the body. If the opponent can successfully implement the game plan for the first half of the fight, Michael should become more of a stationary target in the latter half. As a result, he should have the opportunity to stand his ground and throw more power punches.

On the other hand, the opponent could wait until Michael Venom Page squares up to throw the right flying knee. Once he starts jumping, the opponent could sidestep or slide out of range to avoid the strike. When Page is on his way down, the opponent can start the process of getting back into range. After this happens, the opponent can extend his arms in an attempt to get the process of a clinch started. If he can achieve the goal, he can transition into the single/ double leg takedown or a leg sweep to get the fight to the floor. Once they are on the floor, the opponent can hurt Michael “Venom” Page with some ground and pound.

How To Beat Vasyl Lomachenko

Vasyl Lomachenko’s Fighting Style

Throughout his boxing career, Vasyl Lomachenko has shown a tendency to walk down his opponents in an attempt to get them inside striking range. If he is successful, Vasyl will use a combination of head feints and right jabs to get his lead right foot around the opponent’s lead foot to eliminate the small space between them. Assuming he can achieve the goal, Lomachenko will throw the right jab followed by either the straight left or right uppercut to the head. However, if he can’t accomplish the goal, Vasyl will pivot into the lead hand of the opponent to get his lead right foot around the opponent’s lead foot to eliminate the small space between them. The pivot gives Lomachenko a wide-open angle to land the right jab followed by either the straight left, right uppercut or left a hook to the head without being countered. After this happens, the opponent is forced to raise his hands to block Vasyl’s punches which opens the door for him to attack the body with a straight left or hooks.

How To Beat Vasyl Lomachenko

However, one can argue that Vasyl Lomachenko’s fighting style will be the catalyst for his second loss. This is because Vasyl will linger in in the pocket for a couple of seconds after throwing a combination with his hands positioned at or above the jawline. Due to this, Lomachenko is continuously giving his opponents a small window to land punches to the body without resistance. As a result of this, when he lingers in the pocket, the opponent should either throw a couple of punches aimed at the body or extend his arms to get a clinch and then attack the body. After this happens, the opponent should either cover up or slightly slide back to avoid much damage until Vasyl is done. When Lomachenko is finished with the combination, the opponent should restart the process of attacking the body.  If the opponent can successfully implement the game plan for the first half of the fight, Vasyl should become more of a stationary target in the latter half. As a result, he should have the opportunity to stand his ground and throw more power punches.

 

How To Beat Keith Thurman

Throughout his boxing career, Keith Thurman has shown a tendency to walk down his opponents in an attempt to get them inside striking range. If he is successful, Keith will pay attention to the hand placement of the opponent to determine the next course of action. For instance, if the opponent places the hands at jaw level or higher, Keith will target the body by either throwing the left jab followed by the straight right hand or left and right hooks. This is because the opponent usually can’t drop his fists in time to block or deflect the strike. On the other hand, if the opponent places the hands below the jaw, Thurman will target the head with the same mixture of punches. After he figures out the hand placement of the opponent, Keith will leap or extend his body forward to eliminate the small space between he and his rival. If he can achieve that objective, Keith Thurman will attack the open area on his opponent’s body. On the other hand, if the opponent can time when Thurman is about to leap or extend forward, he can slide back causing Keith to swing wide and leave himself open for a counter.

However, one can argue that Keith Thurman’s fighting style will be the catalyst for his first loss. This is because every time he moves forward to close the distance, Keith maintains his hands at or about jaw-level for the majority of the time he is in the ring. Due to this, Thurman is continuously giving his opponents an opportunity to land punches to the body without resistance. As a result of this, when Keith Thurman comes forward, his opponent should look to duck under the jab and throw one or two punches to the body. Once the opponent is done, he should circle out of striking range in either direction. The game plan should force Keith to regularly reset and slowly drain him of energy. If the opponent can successfully implement the game plan for the first half of the fight, Keith should become more of a stationary target in the latter half. As a result, he should have the opportunity to stand his ground and throw more power punches.