Oklahoma beat Nebraska 72-61 last night behind another strong performance from Blake Griffin, who scored 27 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for his 15th double-double in 19 games this season.
My favorite mock draft website, draftexpress.com, has the 6’10” Sophomore as the no. 1 overall pick of the 2009 NBA draft, which will most likely belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Griffin is expected to declare his eligibility for the NBA following this season. His game should to lead to immediate success at the professional level.
TTT presents a look at Blake Griffin’s NBA future.
Strengths: Griffin is a legitimate 6’10” with a long wingspan. He displays excellent footwork and is very quick and explosive. His effort and energy have never been questioned during his two years in Norman. Griffin is willing to play inside, has a soft touch around the rim, and rarely takes bad shots. He improved his conditioning during an intense off season workout program. He also improved his perimeter game during the summer and is now a capable mid-range shooter.
Weaknesses: Griffin relies heavily on his superior athletic ability to score inside. He rarely needs to display true post moves to score, but that will change at the next level. Griffin struggles to pass the ball when facing double-teams and occasionally gets pushed away from the basket when trying to re-post. Defensively, he relies on his athletic ability to rebound and rarely boxes out opponents.
Breakdown: Griffin’s skill set is often compared to that of Michael Beasley. Griffin is taller than Beasley and more of a true inside presence. While Beasley figures to end up being a small forward throughout his NBA career, Griffin will be a power forward who could even shift to center in a pinch. Griffin is probably more athletic that Beasley and more inclined to be a great rebounder in the NBA. Some added muscle and experience will ensure that Griffin does not become the next Brandon Wright.
Although it will take him some time to develop into an offensive threat, Griffin should get big minutes right away at the next level. He plays with much more intensity that Beasley and and his attitude has never been questioned. I expect Griffin to become an All-Star caliber player after only a few seasons in the League.
The Thunder have drawn well in it’s first season in Oklahoma, and the ability to draft Griffin would provide a huge marketing boost to the young franchise. Griffin’s presence would help make OKC the most exciting young team in the NBA.