Detroit Pistons, The Whiteboard

The Whiteboard: The modern Blake Griffin is an absolute monster

Blake Griffin has a new style of play to match his new team, and it’s unlocked a lot in his game in year nine of his NBA career.

Blake Griffin played seven full seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers before they traded him to the Detroit Pistons in his eighth NBA season. Blake was an All-Star for five of those seasons, only missing out on the last two due to injuries costing him games and slowing him down.

In those seven seasons, Blake played 471 games, took 268 3-point shots, and made 80 of them. That’s a 3-point percentage of 29.9, well below league average. The book was written on Blake Griffin — a tremendous athlete and dunker who was now lost in the new age of pace and space basketball, or at least who was only ready to explore the part of it inside the arc.

It turns out, that book was missing a few chapters. Blake has played just 51 games with the Pistons, and he’s already made 106 of his 295 attempted 3-pointers, a 35.9 percent clip. Blake has made and attempted more 3s in 51 games with Detroit than he did in his first seven years as a Clipper.

Even without the athleticism that made Blake stand out in his first few seasons, he has dominated with the Pistons. Griffin’s 25.7 points per game is the most he’s ever averaged, and the 9.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game he’s posting aren’t exactly shabby numbers either.

It should be no surprise that with more 3-pointers in his shot diet, Blake is also matching his career-best true shooting percentage mark as well. He’s nailing 36.9 percent of his 3s, which is great considering he’s attempting 6.2 triples per game, a career-high.

His team may not be dominating the Eastern Conference at 15-14, but it’s hard to blame Griffin for that. Detroit gave up a pretty substantial amount to add Blake, especially considering his contract, but it’s hard to imagine him playing any better than he is right now. The addition of shooting touch is huge because it typically means a player will be able to age more gracefully. That’s a relief for the Pistons, who will be paying Blake something like $110 million over the three seasons after this one.

It’s obviously yet to be determined if Blake will be as good two or three years from now as he is this season, but the early results are positive. Blake Griffin isn’t going to lead the league in dunks anytime soon, but he should keep putting up big performances thanks to the modernization of his game.

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