By: Christopher Wilson
Blake Griffin: Valuable or Useless
It seems to me the consensus on Blake Griffin is that he’s done. No lift in his legs, slow, no explosiveness, defensive liability etc.. I have seen these statements posted several times on a few Piston community’s comments. Of course we all wish he’d return to the all star from years past however, I believe he can still be a valuable asset not only from a veteran leadership standpoint but production as well.
As a big fan of Griffin, I will try to be as unbiased as possible while pleading my case for why the Pistons have a good asset in the former all star. Let’s take a look into his statistical performances so far, starting with the first few games before his concussion protocol absence. In 3 outings he shot 45.9% from the field while going 43.5% from beyond the arch which he was taking 7+ 3’s a game, 5+ boards per and very few turnovers.
Up until his concussion protocol he showed flashes of the all star Blake we grew accustomed to from the 2018/19 season. Defensively he was still a liability giving inconsistent effort and bringing little to no energy unlike Tasmanian Stewart. However, teams not named the Celtics or Bucks have struggled at the PF position against Detroit shooting 15-59 (25%) from the field. I’m sure Blake was not the primary defender the entire time but his veteran defensive savvy helps him recover when he gets beat and close out on open forwards after helping on D, especially when the ball is kicked out for 3. After the concussion protocol his production was dismal, shooting 31% from the field in his first 4 games back. Defensively he looked lethargic and helpless especially against Giannis (who doesn’t), he bounced back in his next two games defensively but still struggled on offense.
Finally, In his last couple of games his performance has resembled pre-concussion Blake. He’s been on the floor constantly for loose balls, attacking the basket more and distributing like he was a couple of years ago. I don’t expect him to be the 24-7-5 guy who carried us to the playoffs, but I also don’t think he should be getting the amount of hate or disrespect either. His attitude has been very professional and positive which is great for the young guns, also most guys with his stardom in a similar scenario would have some sort of issue or become a locker room distraction trying to get traded to a contender. Going forward if he continues to adjust well with being the #2 guy to Grant I think his value would increase exponentially around the deadline.