Blazer Fanatic

Jan 11

Best Power Forward: Aldridge vs Griffin

By Blazer Fanatic Posted in: Blazers, Clippers, LaMarcusAldridge
Last night, during the nationally televised Blazer game versus the Heat, something was said that had Blazers fans wondering if they could believe their ears, and scrambling for the TiVo remote.  Steve Kerr was providing colored commentary, one of the few guys over there at TNT that I really respect to do their homework and enhance my viewing pleasure.  And as the topic of Aldridge came up sometime in the first half, Steve Kerr says without hesitation, “Aldridge is the best power forward in the league.”

Did that just happen?

Kerr is almost laughed at for stating this never-before-heard-on-national-tv revelation.  He points out that Aldridge is a better post player, better shooter from the perimeter.  End of story, and Aldridge’s 20 seconds of national fame.

Then came half time – Ernie Johnson questions the panel what they thought about it, and Kenny and Charles immediately chime in emphatically that Blake Griffin is way better than Aldridge.  Repeatedly, they talk about Griffin as the best power forward in the game, as if to say otherwise is to argue the world is round… in a time when people thought the world was flat.  They gave no reasoning behind their opinion.

ut back to the game in the third quarter, and Kerr is asked about what he thinks about Barkley and Smith’s take.  Kerr goes into detail that Aldridge is a:

better free-throw shooter. (by about 20%)
much better post player, and can get a shot at the end of games.
better perimeter shooter

Kerr also points out,
Aldridge is one of 2 players averaging 20 points and 8 rebounds, and Blake has the best PG in the league that can create for Blake.  I love a guy that does their homework.  He completely destroys the half-time, side-show’s opinion with a measured and reasoned response.  I just found this extremely entertaining.

Let’s be fair to Griffin.  He is a superior athlete, a better rebounder, and is by far flashier around the rim.  Is this really the only measure in what make a great power forward?  Can you disregard perimeter scoring, the PG they play with, free throw shooting, post moves, and the ability to iso?

There’s also a fair argument to be made regarding minutes played as to the 20 and 8 stat.  When you get into PER36 stats, Griffin is averaging 19.8 point and 9.7 rebound, whereas Aldridge has 19.6/8.2.  I would also submit, that since LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh joined forces in Miami, only 3 players have scored 20 or more points and grabbed 15 or more rebounds versus them in non-overtime games:  Dwight Howard (2), Blake Griffin (1), LaMarcus Aldridge (1).  I don’t see these stats as an advantage one way or another.  It looks like a wash to me in terms of points and rebounds. 

Even if I concede one rebound to Griffin, he plays with the best PG in the League in Chris Paul, shoots a terrible free throw percentage, isn’t the clutch player Aldridge is, and doesn’t shoot as well from the perimeter.

Here’s a look at where each get their shots:


* Shot charts and stats provided from

So, Griffin is a better dunker and looks great flying at the rim with the assist from teamates.  No argument there.

Aldridge has played 18 games in the clutch (last 5 minutes within 5 points) this season and Griffin has played 14.  Here's a look at thier +/- of their PER36 compaired to in the clutch:

    Per36 Avg In the Clutch
Aldridge       +1.2       +24.4
Griffin       +6.7       +14.8

Clearly an argument could be made either way about "best" power forward.  They are both amazing power forwards.  I just thought is was hillarious how emphatic Barkely and Smith stating in unequivical terms with no reasoning to back it, that Griffin was the best power forward in the league.  Whereas Kerr's handling of their response was simply fantastic.  It reinforced for me why Steve Kerr is one of the few commentators on TNT that I respect for their take on the game.

Do you agree with Kerr, and if not, why?


  1. Kerr the man and like you he is the few commentators that I respect, I think Kenny & Barkley were blinded by the 17 game winning streak the Clips went on there's no question that Griffin has improved a little this year but, he can't touch LA offensively LA uses skill and smarts to be effective while Griffin just uses his athleticism I also believe LA is a better defender than Blake as well and if I were a coach LA would definitely be the most difficult to prepare for. Of course there's always the old question if Griffin and LA switch team would we be 20-16 right now with Griffin?

    by CarlJ1 on 1/12/2013 2:07 AM
  2. I appriciate that. I just am blown away that there is even a debate over their basketball skill. The Clippers are so stacked with tallent. If being a better jumper makes you the best Power Forward in the NBA... I guess it's Griffin. I saw an arguement that Griffin was on Jimmy Kimmel the other night. Well, to be fair, Kimmel does shoot his show in LA, and Griffin was on the show with none other than Chris Paul.

    And some argue that there's no way the Clippers would trade Blake for LA. I think that is a poor question. Your question of, what would their records be if they switched teams, or even what would their stats look like if they did, is a better question.

    by Blazer Fanatic on 1/12/2013 1:24 PM
  3. Kerr is the best commentator in the NBA..there's a reason he was picked to be a GM at one point. I was really glad to hear him praise LaMarcus even though guys like Barkley probably couldn't name the Blazers starting lineup if they tried.

    by riverman on 1/13/2013 10:53 AM
  4. Charles... /sigh It's funny 'cause it's true.

    by Blazer Fanatic on 1/13/2013 12:22 PM
  5. such a joke, I hope for a better world where people don't overidolize the flash.. Shoud not even be considered a fair argument.

    by knorton181 on 1/13/2013 11:57 PM
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