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Heading into his third NBA season, All-Star forward Blake Griffin is looking to make the jump from electrifying young gun to bona fide superstar.
Recent history suggests that a player's third year is crucial in predicting the trajectory of his development.
From his second to his third season, former Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant saw his scoring production improve nearly five points from 25.3 PPG to 30.1 RPG. His PER jumped significantly in between those two seasons from 20.8 to 26.2.
Forward Chris Bosh's development was much of the same.
In between his second and third season, Bosh saw his shooting efficiency increase from 47.1 percent to 50.5 percent, while his scoring output jumped from 16.8 PPG to 22.5 PPG. Simultaneously, his PER improved nearly six points from 17.5 to 23.2.
At this stage in his career, Blake Griffin is no Durant or Bosh, but his early numbers are encouraging.
Playing alongside Paul will only benefit Griffin's development. If BG can make the jump into the NBA's upper echelon, then Paul and co. will have a far easier time racking up wins in 2012-13.
Taking some pressure off the Clips' dominant point guard will improve the team as a whole, and only increase the potency of a Paul-Griffin combo this season.