Blake Griffin is a bad, bad man. And on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, he let the world know he’s not ready to go away. After all, we’re talking about a 29-year-old big man. Have we already forgotten how good he can be? Well good, because Tuesday would serve as a reminder.
In Detroit’s 133-132 overtime win over Philadelphia, Griffin put up 50 points on 20-of-35 shooting. He also hit 5-of-10 from three-point range, adding 14 rebounds and six assists. With the win, the Pistons climbed to 3-0 while the 76ers dropped to 2-2.
“You know, the past two, three years, all I hear about is how bad I am, and I’ve been hurt, I’ve had bad games,” Griffin told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein following the game. “But we talked about it. This summer, being able to work out for the first time in three summers is huge, you know. The last three summers I was fighting and working as hard as I could to get healthy to be able to play.”
Injuries are nothing new to Griffin, of course. After being taken first overall in the 2009 NBA Draft, he suffered a stress fracture in his kneecap during the Summer League. Following seven weeks of rest, it wasn’t healing properly. He then had surgery in January of 2010 to fix the broken kneecap. So there you are. Since the 2014-15 seasons, he’s played in 67, 35, 61 and 58 games. Now he’s back and ready to take the league by storm once again.
“…And this summer, I was able to really put time in and work on my game, work on my body, and I’ve always been a big believer in hard work pays off,” Griffin continues.
Head coach Dwane Casey couldn’t be happier with what he’s seeing either.
“He’s playing at a high level right now,” Casey says. “Offensively and defensively, he’s out there talking and making decisions, communicating. He’s playing great. Of all the great players I’ve worked with, Dirk [Nowitzki], Kyle Lowry, Kevin Garnett, Shawn Kemp, all those guys, he’s playing at that high level right now.”
Can Griffin make the Pistons a legitimate threat in the East this season?
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