NBA Roundtable

Blake Griffin – Rookie Milestones

In General NBA on October 8, 2009 at 12:29 am

Introduction

I think Blake Griffin is going to have an excellent rookie season. I feel like he’s got a good shot at putting up 18-21 points per game while shooting a decent-to-good percentage from the field, and while also grabbing 9-10 rebounds a night.

But just how good are those numbers? How do they stack up against the top rookies from the last 10-15 years? How do they compare to the top big men from that time period?

Well, let’s have a look …

Let’s set the Field

Scoring

How many rookies have scored 17 or more points per game in the last 15 years?

Rank

Player

Points Per Game

True Shooting Percentage

#1

Allen Iverson

23.5

51.3%

#2

Glenn Robinson

21.9

53.8%

#3

Tim Duncan

21.1

57.7%

#4

Carmelo Anthony

21.0

50.9%

#5

LeBron James

20.9

48.8%

#6

Kevin Durant

20.3

51.9%

#7

Elton Brand

20.1

52.8%

#8

Grant Hill

19.9

54.1%

#9

Keith Van Horn

19.7

51.6%

#10

Jerry Stackhouse

19.2

52.5%

#11

Damon Stoudamire

19.0

52.8%

#12

Shareef Abdur-Rahim

18.7

51.8%

#13

OJ Mayo

18.5

53.9%

#14

Vince Carter

18.3

51.6%

#15

Steve Francis

18.0

54.3%

#16

Pau Gasol

17.6

56.6%

#17

Antoine Walker

17.5

47.4%

Analysis on the list

  • Only seventeen rookies have scored 17 or more points per game.
  • Only seven rookies scored above 20 points per game – Allen Iverson, Glenn Robinson, Tim Duncan, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Elton Brand.
  • In terms of field goal percentage, only four rookies posted numbers above 45.5% – Tim Duncan, Pau Gasol, Elton Brand and Grant Hill.
  • Only two rookies had a true shooting percentage above 54.5% – Tim Duncan and Pau Gasol.
  • Only six rookies had a true shooting mark above 52.8% – Tim Duncan, Pau Gasol, Steve Francis, Grant Hill, OJ Mayo and Glenn Robinson.
  • Oh and on a more negative note – There were only two players who had true shooting percentages below 50% and they were Kevin Durant and Antoine Walker. Let’s hope Blake manages to avoid this poor of a performance efficiency wise.

Okay, so if Blake Griffin scores 17-20 points a night he joins a list of just seventeen other rookies to do so in the last 15 years. If he manages to get above 20 points per game, he’ll become one of eight players to do so.

If Blake Griffin can shoot above 46% from the field while scoring his 17+ points per game, he’ll become just the fifth rookie to do so in the last 15 years. If he manages a true shooting mark of 53%, he’ll become the seventh such player to do so.

I think Blake Griffin stands a very good chance at making the grade both in terms of point production and scoring efficiency.

Rebounding

How many rookies have grabbed 9 or more rebounds in the last 15 years?

Rank

Player

Rebounds Per Game

Minutes Per Game

#1

Tim Duncan

11.9

39.1

#2

Emeka Okafor

10.9

35.6

#3

Dwight Howard

10.0

32.6

#4

Elton Brand

10.0

37.0

#5

Al Horford

9.7

31.4

#6

Kevin Love

9.1

25.3

#7

Antoine Walker

9.0

36.2

Analysis of list

  • Only seven rookies have grabbed 9 or more rebounds per game in their rookie seasons.
  • Only four rookies have grabbed 10 or more rebounds per game and two of those are at 10 even. So only two players have grabbed more than 10 rebounds per night.
  • Tim Duncan has a pretty large lead on rebounds per game but that is mostly due to the extra minutes he played over the likes of Horford, Okafor and Howard. On a per minute basis they’re all fairly equal. Still, the edge goes to Duncan because he kept up the rebound rate in larger minutes … but the gap is smaller than it appears.
  • Kevin Love is a rebounding fiend. He made this list while only playing 25 minutes a night. Wow.

So if Blake Griffin manages to grab 9 or more rebounds a game this season, he’ll become just the 8th such player to do so in the last 15 years. If he can get up to 10 rebounds per, then he’ll become just the fifth player to reach that mark in the last 15 years.

Conclusions

If Blake Griffin can manage …

  1. 18-21 points per game
  2. A field goal percentage above 46% and a true shooting percentage above 53%
  3. Grab 9-11 rebounds a night

Well, that would clearly be one of the finest rookie seasons we’ve seen in the last 15 years. There have only been three big men in that time who’ve put up comparable (or better) numbers and that’s Tim Duncan, Elton Brand and Pau Gasol.

I think we’re about to see something special from Blake Griffin this season.

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  1. One has to believe that this is what will be anticipated from the young potential all-star in his rookie year.

    The guy looked NBA ready in college, I hope being with the Clippers doesn’t hold him back.

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