Clippers Coach Doc Rivers praises Blake Griffin’s passing skills

Clippers forward Blake Griffin, right, passes the ball around Miami Heat guard Danny Granger, left, during a Clippers' win on Nov. 20.
(Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

Blake Griffin can dominate in the paint. He can shoot from the outside. And he can pass.

That last skill, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said, adds a lot to the team.

“It’s huge because we already have a great passer, maybe the best passer in the league in CP,” Rivers said of Chris Paul. “And then, when you’re dropping it off to another passer who’s making decisions and scoring, it makes it hard to guard you.”

Griffin is averaging 3.8 assists this season, and he nearly had a triple-double against the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 24, finishing with with 22 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists. He is the only player in the NBA this season averaging at least 22 points, seven rebounds and 3.5 assists.

He is averaging more assists than any other top power forward in the league.


Anthony Davis is averaging 1.7 assists, and Kevin Love is averaging 2.4. LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 2.3, and Serge Ibaka is averaging 1.1.

Recently, Griffin has been especially effective as a passer. In the Clippers’ four road wins between Nov. 24 and Sunday, he averaged 23.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and five assists.

“I just ask him to do everything,” Rivers said. “Really, Blake has a full plate when you think about it -- we need you to take jump shots, we need you to post, we need you to pass, we need you to rebound, we need you to defend, we need you to push the ball up the floor. He’s got a large plate and he holds it well. He’s young.”

Paul even said he admires Griffin’s passing skills.

“You really have to pick your poison because Blake makes the right plays,” Paul said. “He kicks it or he attacks, and we’re really at our best.”