The San Antonio Spurs’ have an all-time roster that boasts two all-NBA big men like David Robinson and Tim Duncan, so it’s only natural you’re going to hear comparisons from time to time.
Through the years we’ve heard the comparisons of Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and others to the Spurs’ “Twin Towers.”
Now Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin is the latest to have his name mentioned in the same breath as Duncan and Robinson.
ESPN’s Outside the Lines recently did a feature on Blake Griffin called “Blake Effect” and Skip Bayless said Griffin will not have the same kind of rookie impact Robinson had on the Spurs.
Bayless also said Griffin will have to prove his toughness to the NBA. Sound familiar?
There’s no doubting Griffin is having an outstanding rookie campaign, but how does it stack up to those of Robinson and Duncan?
Griffin is currently averaging 22.5 points, 12.8 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 37.3 minutes per game through his first 40 games of the 2010-11 season.
Robinson averaged 24.3 points, 12 rebounds and 3.89 blocks in 36.6 minutes per game during the 1989-90 season.
Duncan averaged 21.1 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in just over 39 minutes per game in 1997-98.
While all three stat lines seem familiar, all three players came into completely different situations.
Robinson and Duncan were expected to win right away, and both did, making playoff appearances in their rookie years. Robinson took a 21-61 team and turned them into a 56-26 team in one season that included a trip to the Western Conference semifinals.
Duncan’s rookie year was also a dramatic turnaround, resulting in a 56-26 season, but he had help from Robinson and Sean Elliott.
While the Clippers are currently on pace to make a slight improvement over last season’s record, it’s not likely that Griffin’s addition to the team will result in a playoff berth.
Regardless of stats and records though, what Griffin is doing with the Clippers is definitely special and worthy of your attention. For Spurs’ fans though, it’ll take a few championship rings to put him in the same class as Duncan and Robinson.