Blake Griffin Becoming an Elite Defensive Player?

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rogmatic
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For the last couple of years, I have thought BG's defense was about average for the position (despite commentary suggesting it was terrible). Over the last couple of games, however, he has seemed to elevate his defense to another level (see defense on Anthony Davis and the 4th quarter against Dirk as an example). Yes, we all know he has shockingly short arms for the position (which really means they are normal length), but he is using his quickness and body to keep guys away from the basket and force tough shots. And he is starting to time his jumps better when going for blocks. His style of play may lead to foul troubles in the regular season, but it could be huge in the playoffs. I could be overreacting, but there are signs that he is turning a corner.

clipper*joe
CTB MVP Champion
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He has it in him and has demonstrated that despite his average reach, he can lock down a defender when he wants. Too bad he doesn't do it often. That would put him, IMO, close to LBJ if he played like that consistently. Now if we can get DJ to play his man like that, we would be scary.

CP3Best
CTB MVP X1
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votes: 12

Slow your horses people one elite game where Blake controlled the fate of the game defensively and offensively doesn't all of a sudden make him Elite defensively, I want to see how this continues.

CP3Heliflopter
CTB MVP X2
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Not elite but he is an underrated defender. This season he has made the leap from decent defender to above average defender. He isn't consistent enough to be considered elite but his defense has been pretty good this season and he played great D on Dirk last night.

namzug
Clipper All-Star
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Let's not go to the other side of the spectrum either. I think he can be a solid defender, not an elite stopper, but solid. With how much pressure he can put on the offensive side that is more than enough. If he does become an elite defender then he can start arguing to be the best PF of all time, this might depend if you consider Duncan a center.

@Clipper*Joe I like that shot at DJ. You are relentless, I will give you that. I think it's different when you have to watch for guards penetrating or cutting as well as your man.

=Om@R=
Clipper 6th Man
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Agreed, I feel like his defense doesn't show on the scoreboard that often, but he does the little things right, such as taking charges, bother and alternate shots, moving well off the ball and getting the opposing player off position of the block. All he has to do is be more consistent, and he'll be recognized more

JQuick32
CTB MVP X1
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votes: 9

He's not elite yet, but he actually puts forth effort and is capable of good defense, unlike Love.

A7XDreamTheaterClipps
Clipper Starter
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Not quite but he's getting better. He used to be a liability. Now he's effective but inconsistent.

CapsNClips
CTB MVP X1
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He's not Elite right now, but he will be in 2-3 years. His strength and speed is 2nd to none along with his footwork and verticality.

He'll never be a face up shot blocker, but he can be an Elite chase down shot blocker. He really already has all the tools to be an Elite defender, but he needs to just give the effort every night and learn to incorporate it while also saving energy for offense.

If you look at what he did last night, it's remarkable. He shutdown a deadly 7 foot jump shooter with footwork and speed alone.

ohMEohMy!
CTB MVP X1
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I like what I saw, but I'm okay with Blake playing solid D and conserving energy, and then ramping up the defense at the end when it's most needed. Heck, even Lebron can't play at elite D all the time.

namzug
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It's not just the building a player. Even though I do think that needs to be part of a coaches job, you are getting 21 and 22 year old s and you can't expect them to know anything.

My son plays on an AAU team and he played on All-star team prior to that, and the difference in coaching is remarkable (I'm aware that it's a completely different level). The All-star coach tried to implement way too much and changed zones on a whim (like Vinny changing defensive schemes depending on the opponent), while the other coach (Doc and his system) gave them something more solid. After you've been around the league for a few years, then I'm sure you can adjust much quicker. That is why I think Lamar adjusted so quickly, and why Vinny chose him instead of trying something different.

I think Vinny stalled their growth as well as Bledsoe's, now all three look like much better players. Can it be a coincidence? Or maybe the common factor on why they are all so much more improved this year was that Vinny was holding them back.

cleepers
CTB MVP X2
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^ Actually, Bledsoe improved just as much (arguably more) from his 2nd to 3rd year (under Vinny) as he has from his 3rd to 4th year.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/pla ... ser01.html

clipper*joe
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Most players break out in their 3rd or 4th year in the pros. BG was working on his game in the off-season when Doc wasn't on the radar. Cp3 is a finished product. Maybe respect the players pay to Doc is the difference but he didn't make them better. Doc has given BG the green light on offense to make plays which isn't really about building the player but utilizing assets Doc didn't KNOW he had. Doc has mentioned this ad nauseam. Vinny didn't stall Bledsoe's growth but he did stall his playing time due to having a better player ahead of him. But even then, Bledsoe was a hot commodity under VDN before he was traded.

As far as changing defensive schemes, you have to. There is a reason why there are scouting reports. You see how the Mav's changed their scheme on us from previous games? Those dbl teams any time BG got the ball? You tweak your defense based on teams you play. Oh, and VDN had players that loved him and got the best out of them ( Barnes, Crawford, Odom). Isn't funny that Barnes and Crawford were the ones that anticipated bad moves for them? Crawford not feeling respected and Barnes going crazy thinking he was going to be traded? Imagine the bad move Doc would have made if he traded barnes?

ClipperPostman
Clipper All-Star
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*Disagrees*

Making someone better as a coach (OR any leader for that matter) doesn't mean

you help the person work on their "Game".

Making a player better means you are putting him in the best position (With schemes, plays, etc...)

to utilize and develop the players gifts, talents, and skill-sets.

I'm a CEO with employees who work for me, and have studied a lot of leadership material

just as any good coach has.

Along with developing their skillset with schemes, it's also about developing their

mental. Which any great leader (coach) will tell you is more important than the

physical skills being developed.

My argument is Doc has made

  1. DJ Better

  2. Blake better

  3. Chris Paul better

Doc putting DJ in the 4th qtr where took him out, has tremendously developed

DJ's confidence.

He gave DJ a ROLE and got him to believe he could be DPOY. This instilled motivation

and confidence in DJ by allowing DJ to see more in himself than he previously had.

Again something a great LEADER (Coach) does.

I could go on and on, but ask any great coach or just go watch

their presentations, Pete Carroll has a good one. Also Herman Edwards

Former coach of the Kansas City Chief has one on youtube.

While most people may think A player getting "better" just relates

to his "Work ethic" in the gym. Any great coach will tell you otherwise...

Again the role of the coach isn't just to "make schemes and draw up plays".

The GREAT coaches know that. The great coaches such as Phil Jackson

understand it's about

  1. Getting players to believe (Motivation)

  2. Seeing more in the players than the players see in themselves.

  3. Putting the players in the right position to succeed.

  4. Managing the fragile ego's of human beings and finding a way

to get them to work together towards a common goal.

All of these things when done correctly assist in allowing a human

being(Basketball player) develop their full potential.

Which Doc has done masterfully this season.

Agent0
CTB MVP X1
Posts: 4034
votes: 37

Nope, no he's not maybe it is possible, but elite defenders are guys who night in and night out are having a high defensive impact. I wouldn't describe Blake in that fashion

clipper*joe
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ClipperPostman wrote:
*Disagrees*

Making someone better as a coach (OR any leader for that matter) doesn't mean

you help the person work on their "Game".

Making a player better means you are putting him in the best position (With schemes, plays, etc...)

to utilize and develop the players gifts, talents, and skill-sets.

LOL!

Of course you would disagree for the sake of disagreeing. Your description of making someone better is basically what i said in the post you quoted. Only a stupid coach would not utilize a players' skill, talents, and gifts. tell me something I don't know. That's what I described about Doc using BG as more of a playmaker.

Quote:
I'm a CEO with employees who work for me, and have studied a lot of leadership material

just as any good coach has.

Along with developing their skillset with schemes, it's also about developing their

mental. Which any great leader (coach) will tell you is more important than the

physical skills being developed.

And here I thought you were a postman. Developing their mental? What is that? I think you mean mentality for the game. I humbly disagree about mentality being the number one facet for a coach to teach his players. I personally don't believe that can be taught. I think a player develops that through learned experiences but hey, you're the one that does leadership How-to books.

namzug
Clipper All-Star
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I was writing a post, but figured it was too long and too much about Vinny rather than Blake as a defensive player so I will post it in a corresponding thread.

As far changing defensive schemes, we might not be understanding each other. Do you adjust if you are getting beat? Yes, you better. Those are tweaks, that must be done. Your defensive priorities don't change as a team though. The best defensive teams don't change on a daily basis. If you are going to judge that on what other teams let's go with the best defensive teams not Dallas (even though I think Carlisle is a top 5 coach in the NBA). If we are talking defensive teams should we try to emulate something more like Chicago, Indy, and/or Memphis. They don't change their defensive schemes on an opponent matchup. It's different if you try to deny the ball to a certain player or play zone for a short time to adjust to that particular game; then changing your defensive scheme for every opponent.

This also going to have a lingering effect on your younger players. Specifically Blake and DJ in this case. One day you are going over the top of the screen the other you are laying back. Best thing to do is to do it so much it's instinct not change it on a daily basis. I think this had an effect on their growth, and delayed their growth. I think Blake got effected by that and so did all the younger players.

ClipperKyle32
CTB MVP X1
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Posts: 3099
votes: 26

Maybe Blake is a terrible defender or just doesn't try lol. The Clippers defense without him has looked superb. I am pretty sure it would look even better with Blake out there.

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