A stockpile of superstar talent doesn’t always translate to winning, a lesson Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin knows all too well.
Griffin was asked about moves that the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat made in the offseason to improve and had a strong message about how it could turn out.
“You look at it but at the end of the day, things on paper, it’s tough to say,” Griffin said, per Kristian Winfield of the Daily News. “I’ve been in situations where a team stacks up and it doesn’t work out.”
The Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook this offseason, bringing the polarizing point guard into the mix alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It left many questioning how the team will function, considering both James and Westbrook like to have the ball in their hands to facilitate. Westbrook is confident they can work it out.
“As you know, Bron is one of the best players to play this game and his ability to kind of be able to do everything on the floor allows me to be able to just figure it out,” Westbrook said during his introductory press conference. “I’m coming to a championship-caliber team, and my job is to make sure that I’m able to make his game easy for him. And I’ll find ways to do that throughout the game.
“As it pertains to ball-handling and all that, it really doesn’t matter. There’s many different ways you can impact the game without having the ball in your hands, and I’ve been able to do that for many years and we’ll figure it out.”
Health is Key For Contending Squads Like Lakers, Nets
As both the Lakers and Nets learned last year, health is the No. 1 asset for contending teams. The Lakers had both LeBron James and Anthony Davis banged up for the majority of the season, while the Nets struggled to keep their superstar trio of Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant on the court at the same time.
Griffin has had his own injury issues in recent years but called the move to sign with Brooklyn on the veteran’s minimum a “no-brainer.”
“Obviously there’s a lot of work to do, a lot of work to be done. Can’t take anything for granted. But I like our team. I like the guys we have, I like our coaching staff, I like everything we’ve put together. So, yeah, I believe in us,” Griffin said. “It was a no-brainer for me … that was a conversation we as a team felt like we obviously didn’t accomplish what we wanted. You can say injuries, but every team had injuries. So we feel like there’s definitely unfinished business. There’s something bigger that we want to achieve, and I still want to be a part of that.”
Lakers, Nets Title Favorites for Next Season
The Lakers and Nets enter next season as the title favorites, coming tied at +350 at hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy next season. Here are the latest title odds, per via William Hill Sportsbook.
- Los Angeles Lakers +350
- Brooklyn Nets +350
- Golden State Warriors +700
- Milwaukee Bucks +750
- Phoenix Suns +1400
- Los Angeles Clippers +1400
- Utah Jazz +1800
- Philadelphia 76ers +2000
- Atlanta Hawks +2200
- Dallas Mavericks +3000
- Denver Nuggets +3000
We will see how everything shakes out for the two superstar-led squads and if they do indeed meet on the Finals stage, as the odds indicate.