When six-time All-Star Blake Griffin joined the Brooklyn Nets in 2021 after being waived by the Detroit Pistons, most people thought he would be an integral part of their offense. Even though he was not the same player, Griffin was still a key contributor for the Nets in his first year. And after doing a solid job defensively on Giannis Antetokounmpo in their loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 playoffs, most thought his role would increase after re-signing with the franchise last summer.
However, per “Basketball Reference” Griffin played a career-low 17.1 minutes per game. It is the first time in his career that he has averaged less than 20 minutes per game in a season. He only played 25 minutes in total for the Nets in the first round of the playoffs against the Boston Celtics. A sign that he may not be part of the team’s plans moving forward. During a Twitch stream with his Nets teammate Bruce Brown, Griffin issued a statement, sounding off on his lack of playing time this season.
“I’ve been doing offseason workouts since March,” Griffin said to Brown during an Instagram live session on June 9.
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Mavericks Could Show Interest in Blake Griffin
Head coach Steve Nash may no longer have a use for him in the Nets’ offense, but to other contenders, Griffin could be viewed as the missing piece to get them over the hump. One Eastern Conference general manager told Heavy’s own Sean Deveney that if the Nets don’t resign Griffin, the Dallas Mavericks could be a team that shows interest.
“The Mavericks are a team; they will be looking for some energy in the frontcourt off the bench. They need to really remake their frontcourt, even with as well as they played in the playoffs. They need a young guy, a shot-blocker, they will be aggressive with that,” the general manager said to Deveney.
“But they’re going to need some depth. They were undersized up front. A guy like [Blake] Griffin, in spurts. he is a good fit there.”
Griffin Can Still Make an Impact
Griffin may not be the explosive, high-flying, dunker he was when he first came into the league, but he still has enough athleticism, lateral quickness, and defensive prowess to be serviceable to a team. And even as he matures in age, Griffin’s effort level has never wavered as he is still one of the most high-energy players in the NBA.
Griffin’s best attribute is that he will do the job that most other players won’t. Take charges, dive on the floor for loose balls, and work in the trenches to get offensive rebounds. While it may not be as glamorous as a three-pointer, or poster dunk, those are the type of effort plays that can make the difference in whether or not a team wins a championship.
Griffin getting buried on the bench by Nash this season was a head-scratcher for many Nets fans. Most believe he could have been effective if he had a consistent spot in the rotation. Wherever he lands next year, he’ll be sure to make an impact.