We all know Blake Griffin needs a more consistent jump shot.
Spare me the “all he can do is dunk” line because first, it’s not true, and second, the dunk is the single most efficent shot in basketball and if a guy can get five or more dunks a game he should take every one of them. I’d rather have any NBA player dunking rather than shooting a 15-footer. Well, not J.J. Barea, but every other NBA player.
But to space the floor, make him a more dangerous player and for the good of the Clippers offense he needs a more consistent outside shot. Last season he averated 3.9 shots per game from 16 feet out to the arc and shot 37 percent on those (via Hoopdata.com). That has to improve. And he knows it.
He was on the Champs podcast — something found by Beckley Mason at TrueHoop — and was very open and honest about working on his jumper before Team USA training camp.
I hired a shooting coach. I work with him every single day.
Yea (his old shooting form was) kind of a fadeaway or a push-arm shot. Or bring it behind my head — slightly. Like if you watched me shoot you wouldn’t be like, “That’s a terrible shot.” It was decent, I guess. But now I’ve just kind of streamlined it. But I’ve still got a lot of work to do.
You struggle with it because when you relearn all this stuff I guess you shoot terrible. You shoot worse than you ever have. Then you turn a corner when it all kind of clicks together. It’s not really relearning to shoot, completely, but I turned the corner and felt a lot better about it. Then I got hurt… lost it all!
Griffin needed minor knee surgery after an injury during Team USA training camp (he had to miss the Olympics and was replaced on the roster by Anthony Davis).
But really this is just more time to work on the jump shot. And his comedy. But mostly his jump shot.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).
Norman Powell – get out of here.
Jared Sullinger – get out of here.
Dario Saric blocked consecutive dunk attempts in the 76ers’ 94-89 win over the Raptors. Philadelphia has won seven of nine and looks suddenly revitalized.
The best part of all this? Saric’s teammates’ reactions – though the actual blocks were pretty great themselves.