And he did it relying largely on instinct.
“I think I have a somewhat solid foundation to work off of,” Griffin said in a big-time understatement. He's the son of one of the best high school coaches in the state. He was taught the game early and taught it correctly.
“But I think a lot of rookies are just working off of instinct and the foundation that they have to that point just because you have no idea what to expect coming in.”
That may be true, but few rookies end up playing like Griffin did. Because of his solid base and his freaky athleticism, he was way ahead of the norm. Way, way, way ahead.
But now he's taking what he learned last year and working to elevate his game to another level?
The truth is, Griffin isn't the finished product. He can be a better outside shooter. He can be a better man-to-man defender. He can be a better free-throw shooter. But after the way last season went, it would've been easy for him to say, “Things went so well, why change a thing?”
Griffin knows better.
What's more, he knows now just how little he knew a year ago.
“Right now, I'm working on being more of an offensive player,” he said, “adding more and more skill to my game and also getting smarter, being a better defender and ... being a better leader. Those are all the things you have to bring together to be one of the best.”
And here everyone in the league thought Griffin already was one of the best.
Be afraid, NBA. Be very afraid.