Hakeem Olajuwon has a new shoe coming out, the DR34M (can we please stop with numbers for letters? It's not 2002 anymore.) Nice Kicks got the following interview with the legend, and he talked about who he wants to work with next, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin.
Transcription via ProBasketballTalk.com:
“I don't know that I would like to, but a player that needs [my help] is Blake Griffin. If you look at Blake, he's very explosive, but he needs the moves that can get him in that position where he can finish. [...] So he would be an ideal guy to where, when I watch him play and I see how explosive he is, I'd give him all of these moves to take him to a whole different level.”
OK, this one... deserves a little discussion.
Among players with at least three possessions per game in the post last season, Griffin was 13th in points per possession via Synergy Sports, ranked right behind Carmelo Anthony.*
In reality, Griffin's post move set is about where it should be for a player of his age. He's got quality footwork and enough touch on his moves. He can improve, obviously, but his areas of emphasis probably shouldn't be in the post, especially since he's only 6-10. The Dream's moves can work for everyone (see: Bryant, Kobe) but if Griffin goes in the post he'll be matched up against bigger opponents at least a decent percentage of the time.
Griffin's bigger need is to continue rehabbing his jumpshot, which was quietly better last season, but faded late and still needs a major uptick to spread the floor and keep his defender from playing back to the rim. Beyond that, and this is something I wonder with every big man that goes to work with Olajuwon, why not learn some defense?
Olajuwon was certainly the beneficiary of his crazy length and height, but he was also lightning quick with his anticipation and able to swallow possessions whole. Both one-on-one and in help situations, Olajuwon was elite. Why not impart some of that knowledge? Griffin's offense is likely to get there on its own. Defense is where he really needs some help, and where the Dream could help the most.
*Possessions factoring pass-outs, so if they passed for a score