Blake Griffin Cleared for Contact

9/30/12 in NBA   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

When Blake Griffin went down in Team USA practice this summer, every Clippers fan held their breath and then kicked the person next to them for holding their breath for so long. Blake Griffin's knee. It's a sore subject for those avid member of Clipper Nation. When you land the top pick of the draft with the prize being Griffin, the first words out of anyone's mouth were, "How will the Clippers screw this one up?"

May 15, 2012; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) dunks during the first half in game one of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center.  Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIREWell, missing his entire rookie campaign was the start. Most expected and prepared for the worst, which has allowed the fans to breathe quite a bit lately because Griffin has rewarded them with fantastic play and immense promise and upside. His two-year averages of 21 points 11 rebounds and 3 assists per game are not only impressive, they are staggering considering he does most of his work in the paint. 

It's well known that blake's outside jumper isn't up to standards of the top power forwards in the game. He knows that better than anyone. His free throw percentage as well is far below mediocre. He knows that. That is exactly why he has dedicated his offseason (after missing the Olympics) to working on his game. Refining the details because when playing alongside the top point guard and floor general in the game, Blake has to be on point. 

Recently, he was cleared by doctors to play in contact drills, five-on-five and all that jazz. It was minor knee surgery that held him out of the Olympics, however, minor is a relative term. Blake needs his knees to be 100% because he uses his athleticism on every play. His knees become the anchor of his explosiveness and if there is no lift, there are no posterized defenders.

Blake showed poise and presence of mind at crucial points of the postseason last year, regardless of his dip in statistics from the regular season and an outsider looking in noticed his increased basketball IQ from a year prior. And that is all thanks to playing with Paul and having a guy like Chauncey Billups in your ear all season long. 

This season will become his 'next step'. The one where he takes his game to an entirely new level, reaching new heights by playing with poise that most young players fail to take the time to learn. With the right personnel surrounding him, Blake has all the tools necessary to become one of the greatest to play his position. And his elevated play will bring the Clippers some postseason glory never before felt. 
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10/1/12   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

Your headline should've been 'cleared for takeoff'.