Blake Griffin | The only NBA transactions that typically occur at this time in the season are cuts of any remaining off season surplus or players who are signed for a day or two so that their rights may be allocated to the team’s G League affiliate. Training camp is coming to a conclusion and preseason is starting. Typically, at this stage of the process, no signings are made that will impact the rotation. Normally.
The Boston Celtics have agreed to sign former All-Star Blake Griffin, who most recently played for the Brooklyn Nets, to a one-year contract, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.Griffin appears to be joining the Celtics for the start of this season since the agreement is totally guaranteed and won’t be changed during training camp.
Blake Griffin hiring follows the news that starting centre Robert Williams will miss more time than initially anticipated due to the lingering effects of the injury that clearly hindered him during last year’s NBA Finals run in addition to the long-term absence due to an ACL injury of new signing Danilo Gallinari. Williams is a key player for the Celtics, but his injuries—many of which are a result of his jump-heavy game—regularly raise the issue of whether he can suit up.
Blake Griffin had a number of knee problems due to his jump-heavy style of play throughout his childhood and peak, which has left the once-premium physical specimen much below his own prior explosive standards. The explosion is mostly gone and never coming back. The Celtics will be looking for a more subtle influence than that, and they think they will get it.
Blake Griffin, a six-time All-Star, has played in 724 regular-season games for the Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Detroit Pistons, averaging 19.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest. True, a large portion of such output occurred during the pinnacle of his career, when he sprinted and dunked unlike anybody else. Griffin averaged 21.9 points and 9.0 rebounds per game from 2010 to 2019 combined. But now that it’s gone, he’s forced to reinvent himself as a player who relies on his skills, with varying degrees of success.
The 33-year-old Blake Griffin averaged 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists a game last season, his second in Brooklyn, but he did it on just 42.5% of his shots. This figure reflects the inefficiencies in his game today; the player who used to get so many point-blank looks at the rim every night through his combination of power and explosion now primarily relies on a spotty jump shot for his own scoring. His previous seasons, which were severely disrupted, saw him post marks of 42.3% and 35.2%.
Blake Griffin has never been very consistent with his outside shot, as seen by his 26.2% three-point shooting percentage in the previous season. He tends to shoot a little on the way down. And aside from a clear exception in 2018–19, when he made 189 three-pointers at a 36.2% rate, he has never been an above-average shooter, just sometimes so.
Blake Griffin, though, has improved his perimeter play beyond simply his shooting. He has significantly improved in this aspect of his game over the years, moving from being the roller to frequently handling the ball in pick-and-roll settings. He can set major screens when he does, and even in his limited role, he averages 1.6 screen assists per game because to his large size.
Griffin can now generate offence with the ball in his hands, when before he was the one who needed offence to be created for him. He is now a competent and selfless passer while moving. Similar to how he changed and improved his offence, his defence has changed as well; instead of barreling at opponents in the beginning of his career, he now sets the similar traps.
Blake Griffin was never a shot blocker, and aside from his first year in the NBA, he wasn’t nearly as good of a rebounder in the NBA as he was in college.
He has, however, discovered methods to make a difference in that regard by developing into a superb rotator, team defender, and charge-taker. In spite of just playing 17.1 minutes each night, he nevertheless led the NBA in charges taken per game (0.46).
The absence of large things cannot totally be made up for by the little things, and Griffin’s All-Star calibre play from three years ago has been overshadowed by the ongoing lower body issues that continue to plague him now. However, he has become more knowledgeable, wiser, and well-rounded as a player over the course of his 13-year career.
Despite the fact that he may not be ageing as Kevin Love is, he is still finding ways to contribute every night. His latest contribution is the taken charge, as opposed to the poster dunk, which was previously something he did better than anybody else. Even with the reigning Eastern Conference champs, that gets you work.