Detroit Pistons star forward Blake Griffin will not play in tonight’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers as the team opted to rest him on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Pistons haven’t implemented load management for their star player, like the Raptors and other teams do but head coach Dwane Casey has been concerned about Griffin’s minutes, wear and tear, as he’s missed just two games this season.
The team went 0-2 without Griffin, with those two games also on the back end of a back-to-back contests. Avoiding stress on Griffin’s body to keep him fresh for the rest of the season and hopeful playoff run, makes perfect sense.
Griffin scored 25 points with eight rebounds in Sunday’s 110-107 home win against the Raptors, in what can be considered a return to form for him, as he was slowing down during a three-game stretch, averaging 12.7 points in that span.
His struggles actually started after the All-Star game, as he’s averaging 18.5 points in 13 games since, with his field goal percentage going from 47.9 percent to 41.1 percent and his rebounds per game dropping from 8.1 to 5.8. Griffin is averaging 24.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 35.3 minutes over 67 games this season.
Pistons Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Cavaliers
*Notates expected starter
C: Andre Drummond*, Zaza Pachulia
PF: Thon Maker*, Jon Leuer
SF: Bruce Brown*, Langston Galloway, Glenn Robinson III
SG: Wayne Ellington*, Luke Kennard
PG: Reggie Jackson*, Ish Smith
The Cavaliers will also rest Kevin Love. With Love out, it will impact which player Casey puts in the starting lineup for the Pistons. If the Cavaliers go big they could match with Jon Leuer or Thon Maker and if they go small, the Pistons could opt to give Glenn Robinson III the start.
Leuer and Robinson III didn’t play against the Raptors but Maker scored seven points in 17 minutes and he’s averaging 4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds on 55.6 percent shooting in 15.3 minutes over three games against the Cavaliers this season.