After ramping back up to playing condition, Blake Griffin is in line to make his Brooklyn Nets debut on Sunday night.
After being bought out by the Detroit Pistons, Blake Griffin signed with the Brooklyn Nets on Mar. 8. The veteran took some time to get up to par with his conditioning, and now Marc Stein of the New York Times and others have reported Griffin is officially available to make his Nets’ debut Sunday night against the Wizards.
The Pistons took Griffin out of action as they sought a resolution via a trade or buyout. So he has not played since Feb. 12. In 20 games for Detroit this season he averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game over 31 minutes per game. That scoring average is a career-low, and he was shooting less than 37 percent from the floor. His decline over the last two seasons has been drastic, to say the least.
The Nets don’t need the Clippers version of Blake Griffin
At his peak with the Los Angeles Clippers, Griffin was a high-flying athlete and a lead cog in “Lob City.” His first full season with the Pistons (2018-19) showed a very good but very different version of him, before he only played two games in the team’s lone playoff series. Then last season, he played just 18 games before surgery on his chronic left knee. As the Pistons transitioned from hopeful playoff contender into more of a rebuild, Griffin and his big contract didn’t have a place.
In Brooklyn, there are three stars (James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant) to carry the burden of expectations. Griffin will be counted on to fill some minutes as a power forward or small-ball center, grab rebounds, be a secondary offensive facilitator as a passer and screener and cash in the scoring chances he gets.
Caution will surely be the word for Nets head coach Steve Nash in terms of Griffin’s minutes on Sunday night. But his debut for his new team is finally here, even if the wait was well-warranted after a month-plus in moth balls.