For a while now, the consensus with NBA fans has been that Blake Griffin was washed up.
Griffin, after a stellar career with the Los Angeles Clippers, has languished amid injuries and incompetence in Detroit.
Blake’s rise from high school phenom, to 1st overall pick, to superstardom was based on his athleticism (like Zion).
However, that athletic advantage has eroded considerably. While he has added some skills, going into his trade to the Nets, he had not dunked in over a year.
Along with his abysmal defense, he was a losing player.
However, things have been a little different since he joined the Kevin Durant and James Harden-led Nets.
Well, first of all, he dunked.
He actually made it look pretty easy too.
Blake Griffin, who has not dunked since 2019, first bucket as a Brooklyn Net IS A DUNK
we have been bamboozled pic.twitter.com/l4hzz9AApa
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) March 22, 2021
Not only was this a dunk in his first game, but it was a dunk as his first make (as noted in the tweet).
Does this mean Blake just was not trying and he does have some athleticism left?
Yes and no, as he did have some injuries he needed to recover from. However, this is for sure a tough look.
He definitely was not giving his all toward the end of his tenure in Detroit.
On The Nets
Since he has been on the Nets, many of his numbers have improved.
First and foremost, his efficiency is way up now that he is surrounded by other good players/creators/shot-makers.
With an elite playmaker like Harden, Griffin is put in the best spot to succeed.
He is also playing against more bench guys, who are interior defenders.
As a role-player, Blake is thriving.
Blake had been shooting 34% (YIKES) from the field since the beginning of 2021. This is…not good.
Since the moved eastward, his shooting is up to 64%.
While his assist numbers are essentially gone (he does not have to create), and rebounding is down slightly, he is able to maximize what he still can do well.
That is finishing plays and shooting well from the 3.
Blake doesn’t have to carry offense anymore (nor could he at this point) and is now able to thrive.
Turns out, Blake wasn’t washed, he was just being misused for what he can do now.
While he is young to be this limited (only 32!), it was a joy to have fully realized Blake Griffin while we had him.
Wishing him the best in the twilight of his career.
We get to see Griffin continue to be a contributor, not by jumping over Kia’s, but by skill, guile, and veteran know how.
A happy ending, for one of the most exciting players of his generation.