- Blake Griffin’s numbers are at career-lows across the board.
- Most discouraging is his utter lack of lift around the rim.
- After another knee surgery, his days as a star are over.
Blake Griffin was supposed to be his team’s panacea.
The Detroit Pistons went 4-6 over the first 10 games of the season, with half of those losses coming by double-digits. They were playing below-average basketball on both ends of the floor, lacking any semblance of an established identity they could rely on as the season continued.
But Griffin missed the first two weeks of 2019-20 while finishing his recovery from offseason knee surgery. Stars change everything in the NBA, and Detroit had ample reason to believe his addition would provide the jolt necessary to turn its season around. Griffin, after all, earned Third Team All-NBA honors a year ago.
Over a month into his return, though, the Pistons have gone just 7-8. Worse, as Griffin manages ongoing knee pain that kept him out of a loss to the Washington Wizards earlier this week, signs of his overall decline have become impossible to ignore.
A Shell Of Himself
Base statistics tell the story as well as anything else. Griffin is averaging 16.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 28.7 minutes per game, all career-lows. He’s shooting 45.0 percent on twos and 27.0 percent on threes, contributing to an ugly 49.9 true shooting percentage – worst in the league among high-usage players.
Even more discouraging are widespread indicators of sweeping athletic deterioration that were easy to see coming.
Griffin is shooting just 56.8 percent from the restricted area, over 10 points worse than last season. He’s dunking only once every three games, easily the lowest rate of his career and further indication of his utter lack of lift around the basket.
It’s been at least a half decade since Griffin possessed the explosiveness that propelled him to immediate superstardom during his NBA debut in 2010-11. Multiple knee…