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The Re-imagination of Blake Griffin

One of the most curious story-lines in the past decade of NBA basketball is the career of Blake Griffin. The 6’10, 250 pound-er has been nothing short of noteworthy every single year of his career, even in seasons cut short by injury.

With the highlight of his career being behind him as one of the key figures in the Lob City Los Angeles Clippers, Griffin was presented with a choice once Chris Paul left: adapt, or get left behind.

After Paul’s departure from Los Angeles, and as DeAndre Jordan’s best years appeared to be past him, the writing was on the wall that it was time for the Clippers to build anew. They got many, many pieces back in exchange for Paul, but nobody as integral to the system they had prior as CP3 had been. And while players like Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams continue to put in work for LAC, the ownership group seemed to believe that a team of an aging DJ, Blake, and a bunch of good rotation guys had a clear ceiling, and it wasn’t as high as they had probably hoped. As unexpected as the move was at the time, you could pretty easily understand their rationale. They got back a good return for him too, as they gained, among other things, Tobias Harris and the pick that became Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Harris would later be flipped in rookie Landry Shamet and 2 first rounders courtesy of Philadelphia. So, the rebuild turnover was quick and effective, as the Clippers now have 2 max cap spots, multiple quality role players, and plenty of picks to surround any high caliber free agents with young talent.

The metrics of the Clippers’ trade business aside, the reality for Blake Griffin seemed to settle in fast. It’s not that he wasn’t as good as he thought he was; although maybe that thought crossed his mind. It was moreso that he needed to embrace the way the league was changing, and utilize whatever skills he had in order to keep pace. One of the defining characteristics of “modern” basketball is the embrace of the 3-point shot across any and all positions. It’s not a necessity for every player, but when available, it is something that should be taken advantage of, with some bigs like Meyers Leonard, Brook Lopez, and Mike Muscala having the 3-pointer as integral parts of their value to a team. Blake Griffin, as a power forward, was not immune to this shift.

In the early years of his career, from around 2011-2014, Griffin shot percentages ranging from 12% to 29%, on less than .6 3PA per game through all of those seasons. After the 2015 season, Griffin’s 3-point shooting made a leap into the consistent mid-30s range, which is good for his position and even better considering it wasn’t a foundational piece of his game until that point in his career. However, the most notable thing about Griffin’s shooting isn’t his completion percentage jumping up-it’s his attempts. After Chris Paul left LA, Griffin’s 3PA jumped from 1.9 to 5.6 per game, and since the start of his first full season in Detroit, it’s been 6.8 attempts per game from 3. Compared to even his 4th year in the league, this is nearly a tenfold increase in 3-point shots taken, and with a completion percentage about as good as he’s ever had.

Some things improve naturally over the course of a player’s career. Griffin, for example, is shooting about 10% better on free throws than in the early years of his career. This is expected with the natural progression of a player’s skillset. What isn’t expected is taking 10 times as many 3-pointers, and making nearly twice the proportion of them. That’s not a natural progression, that is a player taking their game back to the drawing board and redefining their play.

The trade to Detroit was surely a hard one to swallow for Blake. One thing is for certain, though, is that the free roam he has on that talent and shooting deprived team, along with a new look coach in Dwane Casey, Blake Griffin has had the breathing room to make these kinds of sweeping changes to his play-style, and it’s seemingly all for the better.

The Truth Behind Rob Kraft and His Florida Hand Jibbers

Unless you live under a rock or are Amish, you probably heard the crazy news this morning. Robert Kraft, President and CEO the Patriots, has had a warrant put on him for being involved in a sex trafficking ring at a Jupiter, Florida strip mall day spa (pictured below)… yes that’s the actual place he got busted at.

Image result for jupiter florida strip mall

Jim Boeheim may be the luckiest mother fucker on the planet because never did I think the “Jim Boeheim Kills a Guy” headline could be topped, but 24 hours later here we are with with “Robert Kraft Gets Busted in Sex Trafficking Ring”.

Now let’s get into it, basically what happened was Rob Kraft pulled up to a Florida strip mall earlier in the week where he got a “massage” from what sources close to the Florida FBI are saying was a forced sex worker, who’s identity is unknown. Other notable “clients” of the Jupiter day spa include Richard “Dick” Palmer, Mingfu Lu, & 85 year old Daniel “Not So Young” Young. There is also “100% certainty” of a video that incriminates Rob Kraft going public in the near future, but sadly isn’t available yet. In spite of this a source with Rob Kraft says that they deny any illegal activity, but honestly he should just own it at this point. According to my writer @coolguypgh, he will only face a max 2 months in prison which isn’t terrible and considering he’s besties with Meek Mill Kraft definitely has a hella ton of street cred.

The people I really feel for are the Brady kids. I’m sure that none of them asked Tom to continue kissing them on the lips for eternity, but now they may have some sort of sex trafficking super STD because of it. Bad parenting on the supposed “GOAT” Tom Brady if I do say so myself.

-VP

Courtside Pick’em 2/13/2019

Having finished last night at a very mediocre 6-4, as well as losing on the Teaser of the week sucks. However if 6-4 is my bad, then I don’t have much complaining to do to be honest. But as we say in the gambling world, on to the next slate of games, so here you go:

South Carolina (+15.0) @ Tennessee o/u 149.5 The Pick: over

Providence (+10.5) @ Villanova o/u 134.5 The Pick: Villanova -10.5

Memphis (-8.5) @ East Carolina o/u 150.5 The Pick: Memphis -8.5

Clemson (-3) @ Miami o/u 126.5 The Pick: Clemson -3

Duquesne (+1.5) @ La Salle o/u 136.5 The Pick: Duquesne +1.5

Iona (+2.5) @ Siena o/u 136.5 The Pick: Siena -2.5

Syracuse (+3) @ NC State o/u 143.5 The Pick: Syracuse +3

Georgia Tech (+12) @ Virginia Tech o/u 122.5 The Pick: Under

Georgetown (+4) @ Seton Hall o/u 156 The Pick: Georgetown +4

Boise State (+6) @ Fresno State o/u 141 The Pick Fresno State -6