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"That's the type of player I want to be." - Griffin in today's Chron article.

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Sane, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. Sane

    Sane Member

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    March 9, 2003, 11:41PM

    Rockets' Griffin on NBA fast track
    By JOSEPH DUARTE
    Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle


    Eddie Griffin is nowhere close to being a finished product. At 20, he's the youngest player on the Rockets' roster and calls every game another lesson in NBA life.

    Since entering the league nearly two years ago, Griffin has endured the typical ups and downs while experiencing the pressure of being a first-round draft pick. He has shown flashes of his potential; other times his decisions show the unrefined, raw talent the Rockets patiently nurture and cultivate.

    "He's growing up," coach Rudy Tomjanovich said.

    Don't let age fool you. Despite his lack of experience on a team that has minimal playoff exposure, Griffin, a 6-10 starting forward, will be counted on to do his part if the Rockets are to snap a three-year postseason drought.

    "He's the youngest guy on the team. We need him as much as we need myself," guard Steve Francis said. "We need everybody. If we are going to do what we want to do, everybody has to come to play."

    After a rough stretch, Griffin hopes his fortunes are about to change. He had his second straight strong performance Saturday night, coming within a rebound of his third double double of the season in an 83-71 victory over New Jersey that kept the Rockets within arm's length of Phoenix for the No. 8 playoff seed in the Western Conference.

    For Griffin, 11 points and nine rebounds against the Nets provided a much-needed shot in the arm after a difficult stretch that had Tomjanovich considering a shake-up in the starting lineup. In his last two games, victories over Toronto and New Jersey, Griffin has averaged 11.5 points and 10.5 rebounds and made 50 percent of his field-goal attempts.

    Prior to that stretch, Griffin had been shooting 41.5 percent while reaching double figures in points only twice in the past nine games.

    "I guess I'm just approaching the game more aggressively at the beginning," Griffin said. "This is definitely still a learning process. Not only for me, but we have a lot of young guys on this team."

    Against the Nets, the Rockets tried to go inside to Yao Ming early in the first quarter. When that didn't work, they turned outside, with Griffin contributing nine points, including a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer for a 23-16 lead.

    On a few occasions, Griffin drove and challenged 6-7 forward Richard Jefferson. Those decisions offer hope. Too many times Griffin has been dependent on his touch from behind the 3-point arc at the expense of everything else.

    The Rockets do not want Griffin to abandon that part of his game, particularly if it allows him to draw a defender and the double team away from Yao. The idea is to work with Griffin to add to his inside game, which will keep defenders from concentrating on stopping his turnaround jump shot. It also will make him less willing to rely on his jumper.

    "I've been working on trying to do different things and mixing it up," Griffin said. "That's the type of player I want to be."

    Griffin began the season as the starter at power forward, took a stint on the bench, then became a starter again after Kenny Thomas was traded Dec. 18. The trade was seen as a decision to give Griffin an opportunity to grow and showed the Rockets' faith in his potential, which had convinced them to trade three draft picks to the Nets to get him after he was taken seventh in the 2001 draft.

    Still, the Rockets' long-term plan likely did not involve Griffin's taking on such an important role in only his second season. But with Maurice Taylor working himself back from his ruptured Achilles' tendon of last season, Tomjanovich has opted to use a time share at power forward.

    It has been the most frequently changed spot in the lineup, but the Rockets have enjoyed the benefits of opposite styles of play. Taylor provides much-needed scoring punch off the bench; Griffin has extraordinary touch for a player his size, is better on the boards and has become a staple on defense with 93 blocks and 37 steals. He has more than doubled his steals total (17) from last season.

    "Both of those guys have done a real good job," Tomjanovich said. "It's great to have two guys that are coming out with some fire in them at that position."

    Taylor, in his seventh NBA season, has made a point to offer advice to Griffin whenever possible. One thing he believes Griffin must avoid is the urge to obsess over a poor performance for days rather than move to the next game.

    "Guys have stretches when they don't play well," Taylor said. "I just try and tell him not to take it personal; don't hold on to each game when you go home. You have to let that game go and get ready for the next game.

    "The thing about Eddie being so young, he looks at every game. If he had a bad game on Friday, and we have a game on Saturday, he's still thinking about the game on Friday. We play too many games in the NBA to really think about that."

    With a three-day break before playing the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, Griffin hopefully has his mind at ease. After all, what problems could a 20-year-old have?

    "Right now every game is like a playoff game," Griffin said. "I'm focused on helping this team get to the playoffs."
     
  2. a la rockets

    a la rockets Member

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    I'm allways glad to read something about EG(I like this guy!) but it seems these kind of article allways come out when Griffin is having a (short) series of good games...


    ALA
     
  3. HotRocket

    HotRocket Member

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    For the past couple days, Griffin has been playing exactly how we wanted him to. He hasn't been pouring down three pointers, and he’s shown improvements in his post up game.

    His biggest accomplishment lately has been his offensive rebounding. In each of the past three games, he's gotten almost half his points from put backs. Having the desire to go out there and fight the other team from a couple of offensive rebounds shows that Griffin has the will to become a great player. We just need him to keep redefining his skills.
     
  4. RocDreamer

    RocDreamer Member

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    Keep it up EG, we need you!!
     
  5. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    12ppg (50% FG) and 11rpg looks pretty nice! I really would like to see Eddie get the kind of jump in stats next year as Troy Murphy of Golden State did this year. When Eddie is "active" and can get 10+ rebounds a game and gets 10+ points on decent shooting he can really make a difference on this team.

    Chris
     
  6. C-Kompii

    C-Kompii Member

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    That's what I would like to see our Eddie do more of :)

    -G'day-
     
  7. Baqui99

    Baqui99 Member

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    Apparently Eddie and Jefferson were jawing at each other the whole game. There was some serious trash-talk over who got the better part of the deal.
     
  8. robbie380

    robbie380 ლ(▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿ლ)
    Supporting Member

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    good maybe we can see more fire like that from EG during every game even when he doesn't have a personal stake in things.
     
  9. peleincubus

    peleincubus Member

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    I still think that Eddie Griffin will be a better player then Richard Jefferson. Just wait a few years, maybe 2, not at the end of next year, but the year after that.

    I would really like to see where these 2 players are at. I think a lot of people will be suprised.:cool:
     
  10. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    Eddie Griffin has more upside potential. I think RJ is a decent role player but that is it. I think he is HIGHLY overrated though in terms of the media. I think RJ is significantly augmented by the fact he plays with Jason Kidd who gets him the ball on transition baskets and backdoor cuts. If RJ did not have Kidd setting up scoring opportunities for him I think he would not have nearly the stats he has now, especially his FG% stats. RJ still is a poor shooter from the outside.

    Chris
     
  11. LiTtLeY1521

    LiTtLeY1521 Member

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    Okay. Richard Jefferson looked terrible. Sure...he still managed to get 10 points...on like 20% shooting. And Jason Collins was did all right as a role player...and Brandon Armstrong apparently did not play.

    MEANWHILE......Eddie did wonderful....better than usual at least.

    It would be great if he can continue scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds per game on 50% shooting. He can do it easily if he just gets a bunch of tipins and a few dishes from Steve and maybe one 3 pointer. If he can get stronger and improve his shooting over the summer.....he will be even better!!!!!!
     
  12. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    I don't think he has that far to go on the offensive end. That little turnaround and jump hook of his is unguardable. He just needs to get a little more arch on it. This could happen over the summer. I could easily see him turning into a Jermain Oneal type player within 2 years.
     
  13. finalsbound

    finalsbound Member

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    So a horizontal line-drive heave qualifies as an "extraordinary touch?"
     
  14. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    Griffin obviously reads the BBS and is really mad you guys think Jefferson is better than him. He sure showed you guys.
     
  15. moomoo

    moomoo Member

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    The thing that I really don't get about Eddie is how he has zero driving ability at all. I mean, at its most basic level, all that a drive is is the two steps you take to the bucket after you pick up your dribble, but EG doesn't even have that. Sure it takes a little practice and some coordination, but if you watch even a high school game (I watched Ozen on TV win in the semifinals and saw part of the state title game), every single kid, from the point guard to the center, has at least some kind of a two step finish.

    How did Eddie fall through the cracks, yet at the same time be as heralded as he was coming out of high school? :confused:

    Did he once have a drive, but lose it somewhere along the way? I don't get it.
     
  16. LiTtLeY1521

    LiTtLeY1521 Member

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    OH MY GOD.

    Finalsbound. That's what I was looking for.....but I couldn't remember what the thing said in the Chronicle that I was laughing about...

    EXTRAORDINARY TOUCH!!!!:D
     
  17. DrLudicrous

    DrLudicrous Member

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    And we all know how similar high school and NBA defenses are.
     
  18. Sane

    Sane Member

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    At present, Griffin has a jumphook and a turnaround. He still has a few more areas to improve on before he can be considered solid:

    1) Arch on his shot. I think that working on this will affect his FG% for a while to adjust to the new technique, but ultimately, it's a must and he must work on it immediately.

    2) Work on developing a more automatic face-up jumper. He needs to get it down, and with one-on-one coverage, amke sure he has it at 70% or 80% from the field.

    3) Lastly, Griffin needs to add somewhere between 12 and 15lbs of pure muscle.strength this summer, like he did in the past summer. I was very happy with the amount of growth he had over last summer, and would be ecstatic to see the same and maybe even slightly more.

    I really think Griffin will be solid next year. Apparently, Rudy WILL have him working on the arch (Rudy T Show) and Griffin is always working hard with the weights.

    We're lucky to have such a hard-working group, and Griffin is definitely one of them. I stilll think he can do better with consistency and shot selection right now, but overall, I think will improve in the near future when he has more moves on offense.
     
  19. LiTtLeY1521

    LiTtLeY1521 Member

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    ..you are so smart.

    He uses the backboard well too since his shot is so flat....BUT ONE BAD TENDENCY IS TRAVELING. God......at least one time per game. I hope he does grow stronger and improve his shot. If he does....that would be great. And hopefully he gets more respect from the referees when he clearly blocks a shot and gets called for a foul. :( Maybe we will get more respect after we make the playoffs...

    Eddie can easily be a 10-10 guy. :)

    He's lucky he won't have to play Elton Brand on Wednesday. It's a good chance to get his third double double.
     
  20. moomoo

    moomoo Member

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    A clear path to the bucket is a clear path to the bucket, in NBA, high school or in your local gym. Remember the first Dallas game this season? Eddie got the ball on the left baseline on at least two possessions where their zone brokedown and left him a wide open lane to the bucket. Not only did he NOT take it in strong and make something happen, he didn't take it in at all.

    And then he showed us why in the one game where he did have an open lane and took it to the hole (was it against Toronto? can't remember). He got through the lane, but took one too many dribbles and had no idea how to finish the drive as far as footwork was concerned, so he throws up a weak finger roll that of course clangs off.

    Have you ever seen Eddie finish off of one foot? I don't think I have. He only jumps straight up and down for the most part off of both feet.

    I wonder how this got past all the scouts that thought he would be the next best thing. Isn't the footwork to finish a drive a fundamental skill? You would think he would have learned this when he first started playing, much less by the time he got to highschool, and that was my point.
     

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