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Griffin and Durant: The Free Throw Battle

Free Throw Averages VS Today's Game

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While both stars are usually shooting foul magnets, Griffin was 12-18 at the line while Durant was only 3-3 in today's April game (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill via ESPN's game recap: http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/photos?gameId=310402012&photoId=1238368)

 

Durant is averaging 8.6 free throw attempts per game (makes 7.6 of those).

Griffin is averaging 8.5 free throw attempts per game (makes 5.5 of those).

Today:
Griffin: 12-18 Free throw 
Durant: 3-3 Free throw attempts

Durant has his 3rd lowest free throw attempts a game against the Clippers (5.0). The only ones fewer are against the Rockets (4.8) and the Nets(4.0).

Griffin averages his highest free throw attempts a game against the Thunder (13.5).

*stats via ESPN (I am not 100% sure today’s stats are included)

http://espn.go.com/nba/player/splits/_/id/3989/blake-griffin

http://espn.go.com/nba/player/splits/_/id/3202/kevin-durant

 

There are some other interesting aspects of the game that are mostly related to the paint game:

Points in the Paint

One of the goals of the Thunder trade for Perkins was to help their interior, but today the Clippers got 48 points in the paint thanks to contributions from Griffin(26 points on 7/16 shooting with all 7 makes in the paint), Jordan(12 points on 5/9 shooting), and Smith(14 points on 6/8 shooting). 

 

Rebounding

The Thunder still managed 45 rebounds (16 offensive!) compared to the Clippers 47 rebounds (13 offensive). The Thunder got most of their rebounding from their bigs: Mohammed 5 orebs, Collison 3 orebs, Perkins 3 orebs, and Ibaka 2 orebs. I am not so sure why both teams were not able to secure more defensive rebounds.

 

Finally Free Throws

The Clippers push to the paint was also possibly exemplified by the free throw shooting differential of this game. The Thunder were 20/24 and the Clippers were 27/38. The differential today can possibly be attributed to the nearly 16 point swing in free throw attempts between Griffin (8.5 to 18) and Durant (8.6 to 3) compared to their averages.

 

The Future

With the Clippers long range threats and their advantages in the PF and C positions, hopefully the Clippers can get much better shot attempts in the paint. A small increase in the Clippers overall free throw percentage could also possibly help the Clippers a ton with the team getting so many free throw attempts. Of course, great defense can also lead to more fast break opportunities, easier shots, and free throw attempts as evidenced by the Clippers 2nd half.

While the strange foul differential situation between the two free throw magnet all-stars may not hold for future games, it was nice that it helped the Clippers get a nice comeback win in one of the last games in front of their fans. 

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