DETROIT — Blake Griffin will not play for the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night against Indiana as he continues to rest a sore left knee.
Pistons coach Dwane Casey said Griffin still needed some time to recover. He has been largely healthy this season, playing in 72 games; now, in a critical game in a playoff push against the Pacers, Griffin will be out.
The Pistons are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of Brooklyn.
Casey didn’t have concerns about structural damage to Griffin’s knee. The Pistons have split the past two games without him.
“It’s what he can tolerate and work in, trying to get it back where he’s comfortable with it,” Casey said. “Still not comfortable with it so the medical people make the decision to hold him until he’s comfortable.”
Griffin has averaged 24.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game this year and has been the focal point of the Detroit offense. With Griffin out, the Pistons could lean more heavily on Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson.
“They play through him a lot when he’s on the floor. He’s playing very well for them, playing both inside and he’s shooting the ball from the 3-point line. He’s a guy that initiates a lot of what they do,” Pacers coach Nate MacMillan said. “Without him, Jackson and Drummond tend to get more touches and more focus.
“But that’s an All-Star. You lose a guy like that, it does have an impact on how you play because you’ve played with him throughout the season.”
While Griffin won’t play for Detroit, Casey said Luke Kennard will be available for the Pistons after dealing with right foot soreness.