FanShot

Which vets should our rookies emulate?

Blake- Stoudemire In some ways, Griffin already is Stoudemire's equal and even better in some areas. But Stoudemire is far superior to almost any other bucket-getting big in the world at making perimeter shots. Griffin is not close to being even average as a shooter beyond 16 feet. How tough would it be to defend Griffin if he were able to make more than 42 percent of his jumpers? (He makes 33 percent now.) Stoudemire has a smooth and consistent shot, and Griffin would do well to emulate those mechanics as closely as he can. Stoudemire also is one of the best bucket-getters inside. Although Griffin is good in this area, his ceiling is much higher still. He would be wise to watch how Amare uses more fakes, uses better form on his fades, uses more creative "throws" over bigger defenders, and gets lower so he can nimbly dart through traffic and end up at the rim, especially following high screen and rolls. Aminu- Deng Watching Aminu is often like watching a talented AAU player in an important tournament. He clearly cares, but not as much as some of the other guys on the court do. The same can be said about his overall work ethic -- it might be solid but it's not where it could be. Deng was a consummate pro from Day 1 in the NBA. Deadly serious about his craft, he has found a variety of ways to impact the game every season. He's been his team's best scorer in some years, he's been his team's best defender in others, and he's allowed his game to change based on what the coach needed. For example, this season he'll make more 3s than he did in any of his previous six seasons, despite being able to make that shot for the past two years. Aminu has a higher ceiling than Deng, thanks to terrific rebounding talent and a better deep perimeter shot at a younger age. To reach that ceiling, though, he'll have to up his effort in and out of season, while playing each NBA game as if it will be his last. Bulls teammates have always singled out Deng for his commitment to the team. What will Clippers players say about Aminu in a few years? "Be like Luol" would be a good mission for him. Bledsoe- Rondo Rondo might not be a shooter, but he's a maestro on offense, orchestrating his team's offense with his strong personality and high basketball IQ. Almost half of his possessions end in an assist, and that's phenomenal. He's the best shot-creator for teammates in the game today. He's also second in the NBA in steals per game, utilizing his length and quickness to put the hurt on opposing guards. Bledsoe has a lot of physical similarities to Rondo. While he's built more powerfully than Rondo, he is exceptionally quick and about as fast as any player in the league. He also has a better mind for the game than experts first thought, improving drastically since we saw him in summer league. Like Rondo, Bledsoe was not a lottery pick but has the talent to be a huge impact guy on both ends of the floor. Looking back, Rondo (drafted No. 21 in 2006) should have been a top-five pick. In a few years, we might be able to say similar things about Bledsoe (drafted 18th) ... if he follows in Rondo's footsteps.

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