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Oklahoma Sooners in the NBA: Your weekly update on Blake Griffin, Buddy Hield and Trae Young - Feb. 11

Blake Griffin is an All-Star, Buddy Hield continues to light it up and Trae Young’s rookie season has been stellar. Business as usual for the three former OU stars.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

As the NBA season heads into the All-Star break this weekend in Charlotte, we thought we’d start bringing you weekly updates the rest of the way on the three former Oklahoma Sooners stars — Blake Griffin, Buddy Hield and Trae Young — currently making headlines for their respective teams. While many of you have kept up with one or all three players all season, this post can serve as your weekly one-stop shop for all things Blake, Buddy and Trae as the 2018-19 season rolls on.

To kick things off, I thought I’d recap the season so far, starting with recently-named Eastern Conference All-Star Game reserve, Detroit Pistons power forward Blake Griffin. Griffin’s game has grown tremendously over the last few seasons, and he’s been nothing short of sensational since being dealt by the Clippers to the Motor City a year ago.

The nine-year vet boasts season averages of 26.1 points per game — good for 11th in the league — to go with 8.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per outing. The Pistons have given Griffin the keys to the offense, and he continues to showcase his increasingly polished all-around game while making his teammates better. For those who haven’t seen him play this season, Blake’s court vision, passing, handles and three-point shooting have set him apart from many counterparts at his position, and he’s truly resurrected his standing among the top big men — and overall players — in today’s game.

Griffin currently has the Pistons in the playoff hunt at ninth place in the East as he gets set to appear in his sixth All-Star game, playing for Team Giannis this Sunday in Charlotte.

Through all the injuries and playoff disappointments over the years, Blake Griffin has bounced back stronger than ever, and continues to prove to any doubters he’s still got it.


Buddy Hield is probably the most underrated player in the NBA at this point. While some are beginning to chatter about his place among candidates for Most Improved Player, I’m here to tell you the award should be his running away. With all due respect to Spencer Dinwiddie, Buddy has been the lifeblood of the Sacramento Kings all season — a young team ahead of schedule with its sights on a potential playoff berth this Spring.

With multiple game-winning or go-ahead shots this season, the affable, polished Hield is the young Kings’ go-to guy down the stretch and is showing glimpses of future All-Star consideration. At 20.5 a game, Buddy leads the Kings in scoring, along with three-point shooting (45.5 percent) and free throw shooting (85.8 percent) and has been as exciting as he’s been effective in his breakout third season.

As head coach Dave Joerger has finally started giving Buddy chances at more playing time, the Bahamian Bucket Machine has delivered time and time again. Check out some of these eye-popping stats:

Establishing himself as one of the premier shooters in the league, Buddy will be participating in the Three-Point Contest, as he trails only All-Stars James Harden, Stephen Curry and Paul George in total made three-point field goals this season.

Improving on every stat from last season and quickly becoming a two-way guard for one of the league’s surprise teams, Buddy is proving all the haters wrong and etching his place among the NBA’s most productive guards in just his third year. In one of his best games of the season (Jan. 19 at Detroit), Buddy lit up fellow OU great Blake Griffin’s Pistons, culminating in a game-winning three to put a stamp on an outstanding performance.

Hield finished with 18 points and six boards in the Kings 117-104 win last night over the Suns at home. With 26 games to go, Hield has helped lead the Kings into serious contention for a playoff spot. Currently sitting at ninth in the West, Sacramento heads to Denver this Wednesday.


Finally, the latest Sooner to earn a place in the NBA is electric Atlanta Hawks rookie point guard Trae Young. Last season’s NCAA leader in points and assists per game, Trae hasn’t always been consistent, but he does boast averages of 16.9 points per game (second only to Luka Doncic among rookies) along with 7.5 assists per game, which leads all rookies.

Young will take part in the Mtn Dew Ice Rising Stars game on All-Star Friday night, as well as the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on All-Star Saturday night. The Hawks take on the Lakers and Knicks at home on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, before heading into the season’s intermission.

With nearly 30 games still left of the season, Trae’s already setting records in Atlanta.

His production in the stat sheet is only half the story. Trae Young has already begun establishing himself as one of the most promising leaders in the league. His game fits seamlessly with the modern NBA and has his teammates and the city of Atlanta feeling good about their future.

Upcoming regular season game schedule:

Blake Griffin - 2/11 vs Wizards, 2/13 @ Celtics, 2/22 @ Hawks, 2/23 @ Heat

Buddy Hield - 2/13 @ Nuggets, 2/21 @ Warriors, 2/23 @ Thunder

Trae Young - 2/12 vs Lakers, 2/14 vs Knicks, 2/22 vs Pistons, 2/23 vs Suns