Blake Griffin averaged less than one three-point attempt per game during the first eight seasons of his career. He shot six in the 2018 opener.
His career-high for shot attempts from beyond the arc is seven, just one more than his aforementioned total against the Lakers on Oct. 19, 2018. After his impressive game to start the season, when he made three three-pointers, he responded with another dominant effort. He once again made three three-pointers on five attempts.
Before this season, Griffin had attempted five or more three-pointers just two other times in his career.
It’s extraordinarily early in the season, of course. But through two games, he is averaging as many three’s made per game as Kevin Durant and Andrew Wiggins and more than JJ Redick, Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving.
Before the two big nights for Griffin, he made at least three long-distance shots attempts in a game just three other times since his professional debut in 2010. According to ESPN’s Lawrence Murray, however, each example of this instance has happened since February 2017.
But this trend isn’t coming out of nowhere. In the preseason, he averaged 4.2 three-pointers (38.8 percent of all shots taken) attempted per game. No player on the Clippers had more attempts per game from three-point range than Griffin in the preseason.
Surprisingly, too, his 47.1 percent accuracy was better than pure shooters like Carmelo Anthony, Nick Young, CJ McCollum as well as fellow big man Kevin Love — who is known for his sharpshooting.
Last season, he made it a point to shoot the tough three-point shot more often (via OC Register):
“I want to be someone who shoots from there confidently, for sure. A lot of us power forwards, our strength is inside or our versatility. You look at the best power forwards, Anthony Davis, LaMarcus (Aldridge), Draymond (Green) … they can all shoot but they can all put the ball on the floor and they can all score inside. I don’t necessarily think falling in love with the 3-point shot is a good idea, but shooting it confidently from there is great.”
Griffin received help on his jumper from former team shooting coach Bob Thate, who has also worked closely with Jason Kidd and Mike Miller.
Even though Thate is no longer with Los Angeles, it seems his work has helped the big man find that confidence. Now that Chris Paul is no longer on the roster, if Griffin can shoot well from beyond the arc, it will help spread the floor for Los Angeles.
Of course, he will still be known as a player who dominates in the paint and will be recognized for his high flying dunks. But an added dimension to his game will go a long way.
Defenders will have to play him tighter, stay constantly focused, and won’t be able to sag off or challenge him to shoot from deep.
Milos Teodosic, the rookie point guard for the Clippers, is a mastermind passer and will find Griffin open from long range for the squad when healthy. If the hot streak continues, his shooting will be an invaluable weapon utilized by the Los Angeles offense.