Apr 27, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) walks off the court after game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum. Memphis defeated Los Angeles 104-83. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Griffin says he needs to step up next year

Los Angeles Clippers forward and KIA spokesman Blake Griffin affirmed Chris Paul’s assertion from earlier this week that the team will “go as Blake goes.” Griffin, speaking with ESPNLosAngeles.com, said that he knows that he needs to accept a bigger role if the Clippers are to improve next year:

[Paul] has a huge role on this team. He’s been the guy who has closed out a lot of games late for us. But in my mind, this is the year I need to step into that role and really help him shoulder that load. I’ll be right there with him at the end of games, being the guy that he can always count on.

The 24-year-old Griffin said he’s been working on his shot this off-season, as was demanded by new coach Doc Rivers:

I’m doing a lot of stuff at the elbow, a lot of shooting. One of the things [new coach Doc Rivers] said to me was, ‘I don’t want you to be afraid to go 0-for-15.’ In other words, just have the mindset of a shooter. And with the work I’ve done this summer, I’m starting to get that confidence and think like a shooter.

After the disappointing way last season ended for the Clippers, it’s easy to imagine that the team is itching to get back out on the court. Until the season starts, however, we’ll just have to be content with Griffin’s time traveling TV ads.

[Source: ESPNLosAngeles.com]

Tags: Blake Griffin Chris Paul Los Angeles Clippers