NBA Draft 2009

Aaron

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The NBA Draft is coming up on June 25.

My question for Avuncular_Jew II and other followers of the Big XII: What kind of pro career would you expect out of Blake Griffin?

quote in Sports Illustrated "I don't know if he'll be an All-Star" says an Eastern Conference general manager, "but I look at all the things he has going for him, and I don't think he can fail."

Not exactly the highest expectations for the 1st pick in a draft. But he seems to have the tools and work ethic. We shall see.

I also look forward to seeing where Stephen Curry will end up. :bigthumbup:
 
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AJ_II

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I was able to see Blake Griffin play when Oklahoma came to Houston and played Rice. TV does not do the guy justice...he looks even bigger and more intimidating in person. A lot of times you'll hear scouts and coaches say that guys need to bulk up and get in shape (Kevin Durant). That won't be a problem for Griffin...he already has an NBA body.

His body style and game remind me a lot of Carlos Boozer. Only Blake Griffin is much, MUCH more athletic.

He also reminds me of Dwight Howard. A freak of an athlete down low who can control the paint defensively, but maybe not too much of a post-up offensive game. Griffin was able to take advantage of inferior talent at the college level, but I think he'll have trouble scoring the ball at times in the NBA...at least at first. Early on, maybe the first 2 or 3 years of his career, he's not going to be someone you can drop the ball down to in the post and have him carry your offense. He's not going to be Tim Duncan or Karl Malone, not immediately anyway. He'll need to polish up his skills and work on the footwork, much like Dwight Howard.

But if he can do that, and I think he can, he should be a perennial All-Star. He needs to practice as if he doesn't have all the talent in the world, as if he can't jump out of the building. If he relies solely on his superior athleticism, he won't develop an offensive game. Dwight Howard is having the same problem.

I don't see any reason why Griffin can't become the greatest Clipper of all-time. Of course, that really isn't saying much...
 
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Aaron

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I knew I could count on you for a great scouting report! :bigthumbup:

I think the comparison to Dwight Howard is appropriate. We knew he'll be a presence in the paint, but neither one is a go to scorer. Griffin seems to have a similar physique to Kevin Love, but much more athletic.
 

AJ_II

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I knew I could count on you for a great scouting report! :bigthumbup:

Well I don't know about 'great'! I was a bit long-winded, but to sum it up, I think it all depends on Griffin's ability and/or will to develop a post-up offensive game in the pros. He's not going to be able to just dunk on everyone in the NBA, so he's gotta have some moves, and a decent mid-range jump shot. Not to mention, he'd better work on those free throws.

It's just too bad that Oklahoma City didn't win the lottery. Would have been a perfect fit for Blake Griffin, of course him being a Sooner and good buddies with Kevin Durant. Wow, that would have been some kind of 1-2 inside-out combination for the Thunder to grow with.

As for Dwight Howard, he really has no excuses for not developing some sort of post game this offseason. He's got one of the best centers of all-time on his coaching staff in Patrick Ewing.
 
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Aaron

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Players of note...

Blake Griffin as expected goes 1st to the Clippers.
Hasheem Thabeet 2nd to Memphis.
Stephen Curry 7th pick to Golden State
Tyler Hansbrough 13th pick to Indiana

My Hornets took UCLA PG Darren Collison.
 

AJ_II

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Little surprised that Ricky Rubio fell to #5. He looked like a 12 year old going up there to shake David Stern's hand last night. Okay, so he is 18! He became the first player born in the 1990's to be drafted.

I think the best player out of this draft could end up being Tyreke Evans. He's not Magic Johnson, but his game reminds me of him. Tall, 6-6 point guard with great floor vision and ball-handling skills. Hopefully they'll get him some help in Sacramento.

And the Rockets didn't have any picks last night, but they ended up with three players. They used cash to buy second-rounders Jermaine Taylor (UCF), Sergio Llull (Real Madrid), and Chase Budinger (Arizona). I don't think Budinger will be allowed to wear his #34 with the Rockets.

Daryl Morey has a pretty good track record with late picks in the draft (Aaron Brooks, Carl Landry), so I'll be interested to see how these players turn out.
 
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Raceimages

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Not a big fan of the NBA anymore (lifelong Pacer fan but the thug attitude turned me off the team), but getting the chance to watch Steph Curry work in Nellies offense is gonna be fun next season. I may have to go to more than a handful of Warrior games.

I'm pleased that the Pacers had Hansbrough fall to them, and somewhat surprised that Patty Mills fell all the way to the Blazers at #55.

As for Griffen, I think his career ended when Stern went to the podium.
 

AJ_II

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It's a Clipper thing. Worst franchise in sports...period

Tough to argue that point. But you never know when a team's fortune can change. To borrow from another sport, the Pittsburgh Steelers were pretty much a joke for almost 40 years until they brought in Chuck Noll. He helped them win 4 Super Bowls and now the Steelers are one of the most revered NFL franchises.

I doubt Griffin can do it all on his own, but they've got a nice little nucleus of young players there with Eric Gordon and Al Thornton. But I really doubt the Clippers will ever do anything as long as Donald Sterling owns the team.

It's funny, the Clippers won that first round playoff series a few years back, and then they immediately dropped straight back to obscurity. Too bad Shaun Livingston got hurt. He looked like he was going to be a pretty good player.