Griffin: I Need To Attack More, Not Settle For Jump Shots

Rowan Kavner

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. – Blake Griffin wants to get back to being more of a force in the paint.

The Clippers’ star forward is shooting 49.5 percent from the field this year, but 42 of his 97 field goal attempts have been at least 16 feet from the hoop. Griffin said opportunities exist for the Clippers to get more points in the paint, and it starts with his actions.

“I need to do a better job of mixing up and attacking more, not settling for jump shots,” Griffin said. “That’s something I’ve got to work on, something I’ve got to kind of figure out. Hopefully that brings a different dynamic to our offense.”

It’s tough, because sometimes you get away from what you’re really good at.

- Doc Rivers

Only four of Griffin’s 97 field goal attempts have been dunks, while 58 of them have been jump shots. He’s shooting nearly 50 percent from the field, but that number drops to 38 percent on jump shots.

Last year, 47 percent of his shots were at the rim. This year, that number’s at just 23 percent through five games as he features more range than he has in the past.

“Part of it is trying to space the floor properly,” Griffin said. “Then part of it is reading space if you catch the ball in the post. Whatever it is, I need to pick and roll, pick and pop. I just need to get a different dynamic, get a different mixture of what I’m doing.”

That doesn’t mean his shot he’s worked on so diligently all summer hasn’t improved or has outright failed him.

Griffin’s shooting almost 42 percent on all shots from more than 16 feet out, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range. He shot 36 percent on such shots last year.

But this year he’s 2-of-12 on shots between 10 and 16 feet, with most of those struggles coming just under the left elbow near the short corner. Meanwhile, he’s shooting 65 percent on attempts inside 10 feet.

“When you work on something all summer, you tend to want to do it,” said head coach Doc Rivers. “It’s tough, because sometimes you get away from what you’re really good at. The fact that he’s now good at both of them, he’ll figure out that balance. I have no doubt about that. I don’t like the balance right now, the ratio. Is it the number one thing on my mind? It’s not.

“The great ones always figure out how to get back to that right balance. It may be tomorrow, it may be in a week. But, I can guarantee you he’ll figure that balance out.”

A lack of free throw attempts in recent games could be a result of that balance being out of whack, with fewer drives to the lane and shots in the paint.

Griffin’s got 13 free throw attempts in his last three games and only had one in the loss to the Warriors after taking a combined 22 free throw attempts his first two games of the season. That’s something he’s not thrilled about.

A decline at the line or failure to attack could have something to do with playing five games in seven days, but Griffin said he needs to put in more effort and can’t blame it on exhaustion.

“I don’t think I should ever go a game where I only shoot one free throw,” Griffin said. “It has nothing to do with the officiating. It has to do with me, personally attacking and being responsible in that area.”

Griffin, who’s shooting 56.5 percent in wins and 37.1 percent in losses, said he didn’t even look at the stat sheet after the struggle in Golden State.

“I knew what it was,” Griffin said. “Again, it’s on me. I need to do a much better job of going to the glass, rebounding and asserting myself down low. But it’s frustrating knowing that’s the type of performance or type of effort I gave…Hopefully I can change that.”