Is There A Way To Stop The Blake Griffin Downfall?

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Feb 2, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) warms up prior to their game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

In the past decade, we’ve seen a lot of discussions about Blake Griffin. Some people claimed he was a superstar, and others viewed him as just an all-star. Unfortunately, we no longer have those debates. So far, this has been the season of the Blake Griffin downfall. But, is there a way to stop it? How can Blake find his way back to stardom?

Explaining the Blake Griffin Downfall

Jan 13, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) shoots the ball over Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) in the first half at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors’ shooting stars changed basketball significantly during the Splash Brothers’ rise. Most of the league’s centers had to adjust and start shooting threes. Blake Griffin was one of the players that had to adapt. Sadly, compared to some other big men, his transition wasn’t as smooth.

In the first seven years of his NBA Career, Blake barely took any shots from the perimeter. But since then, we’ve seen him take 6-8 threes per game. However, his percentages aren’t something to brag with. He did manage to shoot 36% in 2019, the year he led the Pistons to the playoffs. But, after a first-round sweep from the Bucks, the former all-star was never the same.

Griffin continued to shoot in the 2019/20 season but at an all-time low. And, to go from bad to worse, Blake’s season ended after 18 games. He suffered another knee injury, which would keep him on the sidelines until next year.

This year we’ve seen a frustrated Blake Griffin. He isn’t sure what his place on the court is, is no longer the number one guy, and lacks creativity whenever he has the ball. That has led him to a career-low in points per game.

After seeing him rip his jersey in half, fans are trying to figure out what’s next for the power forward. Is it time for Griffin to be traded, or are there ways to play better for the Pistons?

Going Back to Basics Might Help

Jan 25, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) dunks over Dallas Mavericks forward Maximilian Kleber (42) during the fourth quarter at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sport
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

We all know what going back to basics means for Blake Griffin: Lob City. Blake was arguably the best power forward in the association during that era. His athleticism allowed him to dominate inside the paint without much effort. The success he had led him to five straight all-star appearances from 2011 to 2015. During that time, he also found himself in the All NBA Second Team 3 times.

Griffin’s knees have never been his friends and probably are one of the reasons we no longer see Blake’s dunks in the highlights. However, if Griffin could reverse his game and play aggressively around the rim, maybe we could see a fraction of “Clippers Blake.”

Switching to a Bench Role Sometimes Works

Dec 30, 2019; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) sits the bench with an injury against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Players who used to be all-stars don’t accept bench roles without some resistance. Of course, we don’t expect Griffin to ask Dwane Casey to move him to the second unit anytime soon, but maybe he should? We’ve seen Carmelo Anthony settle in the Blazers’ bench pretty well, and that could be a way for Blake to revive his career.

Detroit Pistons’ bench is anything but deep, so the former Dunk Contest winner could get his fair share of shots. Even though Derrick Rose leads the Pistons’ bench as a “shoot-first point guard,” we can see him and Griffin working together pretty well. Maybe Derrick Rose is the key to stopping the Blake Griffin downfall. One thing is sure, watching D-Rose and Blake Griffin playing together on a high level would be fun to watch.

Trading to a Contender Is the Most Likely Outcome

Feb 17, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Team Giannis guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors (30) is picked up by teammates forward Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks (22) and forward Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons (23) during the All Star Game at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Pistons currently hold a record of 5 wins and 16 losses, which puts them in the last spot of the Eastern Conference. Mildly put, they aren’t a contender. Their rising star and possibly this year’s most improved player is Jerami Grant, a forward.

Having a 31-year-old player with a $171 million contract at the power forward position doesn’t make sense at the time. When that forward is averaging career lows and shows frustration every time we see him, it makes even less sense. That’s why we expect to see Blake Griffin out of Detroit by the end of the trade deadline.

Griffin’s numbers from this season aren’t helping his value on the trade block and are making it difficult for the Pistons to get a worthy package. Nonetheless, some contenders may look for help around the rim in a veteran of Blake’s caliber.�

Playing for a potential ring can motivate a player pretty well. Maybe his career would recover if Griffin found himself on a team where he would be the third offensive option. That seems like the perfect fit for Blake right now. But what is that team? The Blazers? The Warriors? The nuggets? Or someone in the East? 

It seems as if many teams could use Blake Griffin, but the Pistons aren’t one of them. Is switching to a bench role enough to stop the downfall, or does Griffin need to be traded to salvage his career? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

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