Blake Griffin vs DeMarcus…Cousins????

Posted on February 15, 2012

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DeMarcus guarding Blake

I'm coming for you BLAKE

Is the concept really THAT absurd?? Let me be on the record saying that I am a HUGE Blake fan and a Clipper fan. The guy is also one of the most humble individuals to be around.  I am also the same guy that said last week that Jeremy Lin won’t be a star….uhmmmm…yeaaaaaaa (Bill Lumbergh Voice)

Back to this argument though. Just looking at the numbers between the two:

Blake is averaging 21 PPG, 11RPG, 3 APG, 53% FG%, 53% FT% and 2.6 TO’s. His PER is 23.02.

Demarcus is averaging 15.8 PPG, 11RPG, 1 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 44% FG%, 73% FT% and 2.5 TO’s. His PER is 21.00.

Yikes…How am I even going to convince myself, on this?? The numbers seem to be horrendous on DeMarcus, I agree. Let’s continue further with the dissection and see what else we can uncover. Blake Griffin is 22 years old and will turn 23 in March. DeMarcus Cousins is 21 years old and will not turn 22 until August and he is an inch taller plus 20lbs heavier.

So maybe the questions shouldn’t be who’s better NOW but WHOM would I take long term?

Blake has had a history of knee problems going back to freshman year at Oklahoma. He suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee and then returned to tear cartilage in his right knee, which required arthroscopic surgery the same year. Then he had to miss his entire 2009 rookie campaign from a broken left kneecap. He has clearly responded back with great strength from those injuries. However, everyone knows knees never heal to 100% strength and on top of that the reckless abandonment that Blake plays with is bound to take a toll on his knees and body. Kenny Smith has always said on Inside the NBA “your knees only have a certain amount of jumps.” The injury history is not in favor of Blake.

DeMarcus has never suffered any serious injuries and has a big frame to handle the pounding down low compared to very “small” size of Blake at 250 lbs. LeBron James is bigger than Blake…also if that is not enough, DeMarcus’ game is designed for longevity. He does not play ABOVE the rim and plays the blocks at this age very well, compared to Blake. It’s beyond frustrating to see Blake being guarded down low over and over by small forwards and guards and then getting fouled even harder when he’s 30ft in the air. Blake at this point in his career is VERY reliant on his great athleticism.

Also does anyone else see the Vince Carter comparison with Blake? VC was also an extremely athletic player but just never developed into anything else after the hops were gone. His career took off because of the highlight plays and became an instant fan favorite but someone like Paul Pierce (same 1998 draft class) has had an overall better career. Just sayin…

So DeMarcus will most likely have a longer, healthier career just based off of the punishment each individual takes. DeMarus is also a very developed post up player, which is rare for a young big man nowadays. He is more developed in the post than Blake and Dwight Howard. DeMarcus has patience on the block and a great touch to go with it. He never seems to be out of control, can back you down or shoot the 15” footer with effectiveness. Blake with the ball on the block is always very “herky-jerky” and out of control, which results in a lot of off balanced shot attempts (VCesque). I say advantage DeMarcus on offensive skill set and longevity.

As far as defense is considered both Blake and DeMarcus are liabilities, so I will leave that alone and call it a tie.

Blake Griffin CLEARLY wins the most exciting and ticket selling player argument. So advantage Blake on that.

DeMarcus has always been dubbed as the player with maturity issues and has a reputation of being “selfish.” I however will disagree with the selfish part and will try to argue FOR DeMarcus being all about winning. Some examples of great players who were dubbed “selfish” early in their respective careers and got their coaches fired are: Magic Johnson, although not really selfish but did get Paul Westhead fired; Michael Jordan, definitely dubbed selfish got Doug Collins fired; Kobe & Shaq got Del Harris and Kurt Rambis fired; Kobe even got Phil Jackson to Retire the second time AND YOU GET THE POINT. What I’m trying to say is that the more I watch DeMarcus play, the more I see a good teammate that is just INCREDIBLY competitive and is willing to be the goat and the hero. I feel that it is incredible that DeMarcus has a demeanor, such as that, at a young age. The first thing people will highlight is when he was arguing with Donte Greene last year for not giving him the ball for last second shot.

How is that ever a BAD thing???

This is the pros, not a high school pattycake league.  We have all heard stories about the ALL TIME great players that have just embarrased their teammates verbally and sometimes even physically (in practice) for not giving them the ball or doing things a certain way. The only difference now is that he finally has a system with Coach Smart (very underrated), which enables him to thrive.

Since the firing of Paul Westphal, the numbers for DeMarcus have increased in every category going from 13ppg and 11 RPG to 18PPG and 12 RPG. Also his productivity has increased from rookie year to this year, which is unfortunately something you cannot say about Blake Griffin. Blake, who last year in his rookie campaign averaged 22.5PPG, 12 RPG has declined to 21PPG, 10.8RPG and for whatever reason his free-throw percentage has dropped from 64% to 52%, making him a late game liability. Wasn’t Blake supposed to be working on his shooting touch?  I feel that it is advantage DeMarcus on having that “goat or hero” mentality and showing improvement in his sophomore campaign.

I can’t make the “Blake being a winner” argument because they started 1-11 with him during his rookie year and were mostly a very exciting doormat team. This year the Clippers have put together surprisingly great pieces and have turned the keys over to LEGIT MVP candidate Chris Paul. Vinny Del Negro and the bench is the only thing keeping them from being legitimate contenders but ill speak on that some other time. (PLUGGING IN NEXT BLOG :))

DeMarcus has not played with such a good supporting cast and plays with Tyreke Evans, who is still developing himself. The Sacramento Kings are the youngest team in the Association, with an average age of 24.8. They are finally establishing an identity for themselves under Coach Smart and are becoming exciting to watch themselves. Also the continued saga of Sacramento possibly moving is looming over every player’s head, which can be very distracting. I say DeMarcus has to overcome more with his team compared to Blake, which will help DeMarcus in the long run. Ever since Coach Smart has taken over you see DeMarcus being a positive vocal leader on the court and it is helping him develop his leadership skills, something that you just don’t see from Blake as much.

What we do know is this; both players will demand max contracts after the rookie contracts are up. So just hypothetically speaking, lets say they both become free agents at the same time and YOU were the GM: Who would get your first call, IF it’s all about winning and NOT selling tickets? Is it still that clear cut?

mE – Sunny Saini

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Posted in: Basketball, NBA, Sports