Video: Blake Griffin sets up DeAndre Jordan for two sky-scraping dunks
By Rob Mahoney
Blake Griffin deserves a place in any debate of the NBA’s best-passing big men, though the nature of those discussions often glosses over what makes him such a unique positional playmaker.
His feeds from the post are beautiful, particularly when setting up cutters or jetting the ball to the weak-side corner. But Griffin is just as capable of making great passes while on the move — a rarity that sets him apart from some of the league’s other power forwards and centers who make a habit of working from the high or low post. His skill set just stretches further toward that of a perimeter player than most realize, empowering him to attack opponents from all angles and mint highlights in every fashion imaginable.
That package of skills — a smooth handle, good vision and the ability to deliver quick, accurate passes — makes Griffin’s game a perfect accompaniment for the acrobatics of teammate DeAndre Jordan, as evidenced in the clip above from the Clippers’ 101-72 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday. Griffin and Chris Paul tend to draw a defense’s attention wherever they are on the floor, but of the two Griffin is the far more surprising assist artist. Opponents expect Paul to see angles they don’t, and thus often choose to play his teammates conservatively to avoid getting burned. With Griffin, opponents are wary of his drives, but negligent of his ability to dish to a teammate rather than attack the rim.
It’s based on that element of surprise that Griffin has averaged 4.2 assists per 36 minutes this season, often picking up dimes in the form of a big-to-big setup that puts Jordan in a clearly advantageous position.