The Detroit Pistons are in the process of turning into a laughing stock. While it may seem crazy to already think that this far into the season, the team is 4-13, and the only bright spot has really been in Jerami Grant. Fans are wanting to reboot and start trading pieces away for young talent. One strange thing, though, for the Pistons this year has been the play of Blake Griffin. When Detroit traded for the 6 time all star, it seemed like him and Andre Drummond could be a future playoff contender. In the 2018 season, Blake Griffin put up a career high in points, his team was in the playoffs (he was out due to injury), got swept by Milwuakee, and ever since both the organization and Blake himself haven’t looked the same. So, who’s to blame for Griffin’s side of it?
Currently, Blake Griffin is averaging a career low 12.3 points, and just isn’t looking like the high flying Blake Griffin that we are used to seeing. In his tenure with the Pistons, Griffin suffered injuries on his left knee, and ultimately had to get surgery on it. Although he was able to go through the rehab process and return to basketball normally, it sure seems like something is wrong. Throughout the course of the pandemic, he was practicing about six times a week, but wasn’t 100% healthy as of May 2020. As rumors started to come up of the rebuild for Detroit, Griffin stated that he accepted a different role if it was necessary. From the injury standpoint, Blake was ready to go when the season started, but he wasn’t.
As we approach the quarter mark of this season, seeing what Blake Griffin has done so far is disappointing. You can’t sugarcoat any sort of worry or sadness when watching him. The same guy who dunked over a Kia has 0 dunks during the course of 17 games. Let that sink in. Zero. He’s turned into a spot of shooter kind of guy, and you have to think that it’s because of injury management. I feel like the Pistons should’ve done a better job giving him more time over the course of last season to heal that knee. Even if Blake said he was good to play, as an organization, Detroit should’ve played it safe. The man is 31, but he’s playing like he’s much older. On breakaway’s, he’s taking layups, his explosiveness is less than 50% of what it used to be. As an NBA fan, it hurts to see someone decline so much so quickly.
In this highlight, 2010-2018 Blake Griffin would dunk this without a doubt.
There’s still a long way to go for Griffin to get better this year, and hopefully he does. He has been mentioned in trade talks lately, it just depends on what the Pistons front office wants to do moving forward. Will he be the same? If we are being realistic, no. But, he may get back to being a very productive starter. If the Pistons would’ve managed his injury better, they would be a better team right now in my opinion, with Blake being a better player. All in all, it just comes down to patience. Would you rather play him with a risk of him re-injuring it (2019), or rest him up.
Keep in mind, he is a free agent this upcoming season, so if he opts out of his player option, he’ll most likely be out of Motor City.
Top Picture: HoopsHabit