Duke Blue Devils New Recuit AJ Griffin Explains How He Modelled His Game After Jimmy Butler

Published 05/05/2021, 5:00 PM EDT


The Duke Blue Devils had a forgetful 2019-20 season. But things are likely to get better with their recruiting class for the 2021-22 season. The arrival of AJ Griffin and Paolo Banchero has been hyped a lot, and they look promising.

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Coming in from Archbishop Stepinac, Griffin is an exciting wing player. Ranked number nine in the country, he is already projected to be a top 10 pick when he enters the NBA Draft. One of the main reasons for the hype is his mentality.

During a recent interview, Griffin explained how he is modelling his game after five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler. He said, “(I am) a guy who’s really fun loves the game and gets the crowd into it. Just that guy that got the dog. Kind of like Jimmy Butler, like how he has fun, but also he’s a dog on the court.”

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Later he elaborated on what exactly he aims to emulate by watching Butler play. “How he used his work ethic to improve his game,” Griffin said. “That’s something I (aim for). I just try to improve my work ethic. Because I know if you have that, anything is possible.”

Can AJ Griffin be an impactful player like Jimmy Butler for the Duke Blue Devils?

Not many young players aim to be like Jimmy Butler while growing up. His style of playing isn’t too pretty, but it is very underrated and is helpful to the team. Butler’s efforts on defense on both ends are second to none, and this has helped him become one of the best players in the NBA.

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While Griffin is far away from emulating Butler, he is on a great path if he continues on it. He can become a good playmaker, defender, and also a good leader if he follows Butler. The Blue Devils will certainly benefit from these qualities if Griffin is able to work on it. Similar to Butler, Griffin is also versatile. He can play anywhere from 2 to 4 and can also guard each of those positions.

Following their terrible results last season, the Blue Devils are under a lot of pressure to improve this season. They will need Griffin to play a key role if they are to avoid those results and return to their previous greatness.

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DIVE DEEPER

‘Could Feel the Love’: New Recuit AJ Griffin Reveals What Drew Him to Joining the Duke Blue Devils

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Aaron Mathew

1643 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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