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5 Reasons Why Blake Griffin is better than Amare Stoudemire TODAY

There in no doubt that Blake Griffin has had an unbelievable rookie season. The player he has most been compared to in his first healthy year in the NBA has been Amare Stoudemire. For good reason. In 2009, Draft Express detailed how close the two were. Besides being the same height (6’10”) and only 6 lbs. apart in weight, Griffin’s no step vert and max vert were identical to Stoudemire’s. Their lane agility and 3/4 court sprint were virtually identical, with Griffin being slightly stronger, and Amare having a bit longer wingspan.

Combine Attribute Griffin Stoudemire
Height 6’10” 6’10”
Weight 251 lbs. 245 lbs.
Max Vertical Reach 35.5” 35.5”
No Step Vert 32” 32”
Lane Agility Time 10.95s 11.19s
¾ Court Sprint Time 3.28s 3.25s

Figure 1: Griffin-Stoudemire Combine Comparison (Courtesy: DraftExpress.com)

On top of all this, Amare is having a solid year himself, leading the New York Knicks to a winning record. So why then has Blake Griffin already asserted himself as a better all-around player than Amare? We’ll tell you.

1. Blake Griffin is a beast on the boards.

Within his first few months in the NBA, Griffin has established himself along with Kevin Love as one of the great young rebounders in the NBA. His rebounding averages have increased each month during his first 4 months in the NBA, rising to an astonishing 14.5 rpg in January. This contrasts with Amare, who is a well below average rebounder at the PF/C position (a fact that has prevented him from reaching fantasy basketball elite). During his career, Stoudemire has surprisingly NEVER averaged double digits in rebounds and has a career average of 8.9 rpg.

Blake’s biggest strength may be his ability to jump in sequence. His has been often compared to a human pogo stick.

2. Blake Griffin has hands of glue.

The first thing the casual observer notices about Griffin may be his hands. His soft hands allow him to catch passes in difficult situations, while the size and strength of his hands make it nearly impossible to strip the ball from him once he has the ball in or near possession.  While Amare Stoudemire has huge hands in his own right, he does not have the pure hand strength that Griffin does. This in part has resulted in his low career rebound averages.

3. Amare just doesn’t pass the ball.

If there’s one thing other than rebound that Amare doesn’t do, it’s pass. Stoudemire has been a miserable passer his entire career (especially considering he spent most of his time with one of the NBA’s most prolific offenses). Throughout his career, he has averaged a measly 1.4 apg, or in other words, a couple of kick outs to Raja Bell each game. Blake Griffin, on the other hand, has shown an unusual knack for making the extra pass as a rookie big. He is averaging over 3.4 apg in his first full season with the Clippers with his assist averages climbing each month.

4. There is no “D” in Amare.

As great of an offensive machine as Amare has been during his career, his defense has been equally atrocious. As noted here, Amare”s efficiency stats have been shockingly bad (with some of the worst +/- ratios during his years on the Suns) despite playing with Steve Nash. As noted, even in his most efficient year shooting the ball in 2008, his +/- ratio was a negative 2.23. Blake Griffin still suffers some of the efficiency problems that Amare faces, but his perimeter defense is generally good (helped by his incredibly quick feet) and he has shown the necessary tenacity down low to improve his low post defense over time.

5. All Blake Griffin does is win.

Above all else, Blake Griffin is a winner. High School. College. And dare we say it…maybe with the Clippers some day? He won 4 straight state titles with Oklahoma Christian School. He also took a mediocre 16-15 Oklahoma Sooners team and turned it around within 2 years to a 30-6 record with an Elite Eight appearance. His biggest challenge is now avoiding the Clipper Curse (which he didn’t do very well last year).

Amare is still looking for success at any level. In high school, he led his Cypress Creak team to an underwhelming 16-13 record. His NBA career has been mixed thus far, marked by injury and early playoff exits.Perhaps most importantly, Amare has yet to show the fire required to separate NBA elite from just all-stars.

In the final analysis, Blake Griffin is proving to perhaps be a once in a generation talent at the power forward. Shawn Kemp comparisons anyone?


14 Responses to “5 Reasons Why Blake Griffin is better than Amare Stoudemire TODAY”

  1. Lol Early playoff exits for Amare? Check your records again. Dude was just in the Western Conference Finals last year and it wasn’t the first time. How are you gonna credit Griffin as a winner for getting to the elite 8 in college, but not Amare for getting to the final four of the NBA?

    Posted by Fab | February 4, 2011, 8:27 am
    • Come on Fab — the Suns got to where they are because of Nash (a 2-time MVP by the way). Let’s remember, this Suns team without Amare was a no. 2 seed one year — they were stacked most of their best years. The teams that Blake Griffin have been on have consistently seen a *dramatic* improvement in their results. Don’t forget, the Sooners were a .500 team before Blake got there.

      Posted by Brown Mamba | February 4, 2011, 5:14 pm
  2. 10-11 season Amare have 2,7 APG.
    He has better jumpshot than Blake. And I think that you culd make another “5 reasons why Amare is better than Blake TODAY” :)

    Posted by Domb | February 4, 2011, 2:31 pm
    • I’m not sure I could. He has a better jump shot and…

      Posted by Brown Mamba | February 4, 2011, 5:11 pm
      • While I agree with most everything in your article (in a cpl more years this wont even be debated) you neglected to mention Blake’s pitiful free throw shooting. I’ve had Griffin on my fantasy team this year and while the rebounding is nice to have, I’ve lost free throw percentage almost every week. Also. for a big man Blake’s really gonna have to work on his shot blocking. Amare has averaged nearly 2 bpg more than Griffin this season.

        Posted by Baller925 | February 21, 2011, 3:32 pm
        • Baller925 — thanks for the comments and insightful point. You’re right, Griffin’s FT shooting is actually killing my fantasy team as well this year. That being said, I’ve watched him on several occasions throughout the year – he has a good stroke and I think it’s only a matter of time before he’s consistently in the low-70s (which I think is as good as he will be).

          From a shot blocking standpoint, Amare has always been a decent weak side shot blocker, and yes, Blake needs to improve here. That being said, I stand by my comments that Griffin has better feet and will prove to be a much better defender than Amare over time.

          Posted by Brown Mamba | February 21, 2011, 4:31 pm
  3. Ummm… 21-35 is not a winner, sorry. Yes Griffin is god but he’s not a winner and has little defense. Thus points 4,5 are null. Can you really compare fractions? Sure .2 is twice as large as .1 but when we’re talking out of 100 here it is negligible. Neither have much defense, and well, point 5 actually works against you because with similar levels of talent around them their records are 21-35 and 28-26… seems to me that Stoudemire is the winner here.

    Posted by Stormon | February 21, 2011, 1:34 pm
    • I’m not sure how Stoudemire is a winner. He’s made the Western Conference Finals twice while playing with one of the best PGs in NBA history, that’s it. In one of those years, the Suns had the best record and actually UNDERACHIEVED by not making the Finals (though to Stoudemire’s credit, he had a great playoffs that year).

      He’s also had a series on underachievements/no-shows. In 2007-2008, the Suns with Nash/Stoudemire/Hill/Shaq got bounced in 5 games in the 1st round. In 2008-09 he had a season ending injury. He also wasn’t around in 2005-6 when the Suns came back against the Lakers. Finally, in 2003-4, he missed 30 games and the Suns went on to finish 29-53, one game better than the Clippers. If this isn’t a mixed bag, I don’t know what is.

      Regarding Griffin not being a winner because of his record on the Clippers this year…really? It’s the Clippers! Yes, the Clippers record is terrible, but if you’ve watched them, you know that this team has gotten much better as Griffin has actually played a few games. The are 15-16, nearly .500, in their last 31 games. Griffin is also a proven winner at the high school and college levels, something Amare doesn’t have on his resume.

      Posted by Brown Mamba | February 21, 2011, 5:04 pm
  4. TRUE!! 100% ACCURATE!

    Posted by LakerFanatic | February 22, 2011, 10:05 am
  5. Something has got to be wrong if Amare has the same vertical height as Blake. Blake appears to jump so much higher than Amare.

    Bottom line is I’d definitely pick to rebuild my team around Blake rather than Amare.

    That being said, Amare’s a better jumpshooter than Blake at this point in time. He’s also a better shot blocker. But Amare is just overrated. What’s the point of having a 4 who can’t rebound?

    Posted by Kobe-Shaq | March 2, 2011, 6:57 pm
    • Kobe-Shaq — there is no point. It’s one reason why Amare has not met the enormous expectations that followed him when he came to the NBA direct out of high school. He never truly learned how to play defense and rebound.

      Posted by Brown Mamba | March 2, 2011, 9:02 pm
  6. Number two should be void. Blake griffin is averaging about 2.8 turnovers a game. Which is a lot considering how about often he handles the ball.(that mostly in the air and under the hoop where no dribbling in required.

    Defensively he is also below average with blocks and steals. Most of the time when defending other decent big like dwight howard. They outscore and outrebound him.

    The final one about winning can only be applied to the dunk contest. Because the clippers record didn’t improve that much this season compared to the last one.

    You combine this with his poor free throw percentage and 2 move offensive arsenal(dunk/ spin move then dunk) and i predict next season players will be shutting him down because they will be more familiar with him.

    Hopefully he works on improving his defense next season. Cause right as of now, other than rebounds, he is way less of a threat than amare.

    Posted by Cary | April 6, 2011, 5:24 pm


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew Kirby. Andrew Kirby said: RT @chasing23: our 2nd post: why #blakegriffin is already better than #amare. http://chasing23.com/2011/01/blake-griffin-vs-amare-stoude … […]

  2. […] a comment About a year ago,  I wrote a somewhat controversial post (at the time) about how Blake Griffin was a better player than Amare Stoudemire  – only a few months into his rookie season. By the end of the season, there was little doubt as […]

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