Brooklyn Nets: Blake Griffin is looking like the star from the Clippers in BK

TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 21: Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 21: Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets went from one of the most star-studded lineups in the game to an above-average team over the last few days, as injuries to Kevin Durant and James Harden have robbed the Nets of a good chunk of their offensive firepower.

The likes of Blake Griffin have done an admirable job replacing that production.

Griffin, who was picked up in the middle of the season from the Detroit Pistons, has been averaging 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game on 47% shooting, a sharp increase from his old percentages.

When extrapolated out to 36-minute averages, Griffin is averaging 15.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game despite giving up a ton of shots.

With LaMarcus Aldridge having retired five games into his Nets tenure due to an irregular heartbeat, Griffin went from a luxury to a necessity, as Brooklyn needs someone with his size to secure the middle of the paint and finish off easy looks on offense. Luckily, he is doing just that.

After not dunking for a full calendar year with the Pistons, Griffin is showing he can occasionally turn into the high-flying player he was with the Los Angeles Clippers. Griffin has helped unlock the Nets offense, as his shooting and ability to penetrate have been huge boosts for this team.

Blake Griffin is turning back the clock for the Brooklyn Nets.

Two ironclad truths remain evident when discussing Griffin. Whenever he gets on the floor, he is going to dominate the ball and distribute well. This is evidenced by a usage rate that Cleaning the Glass (subscription required) ranks in the 96th percentile or higher in every season of his career before this one.

His assist rate, likewise, was at least in the 94th percentile or higher in every season prior to this year. Griffin has been assisting on 16.5% of Brooklyn’s buckets when he’s on the floor this year, further proving that the old style of play hasn’t left him just yet.

The Nets are scoring 13.8 points per game more than their opposition when Griffin is on the floor. The offense is scoring 1.258 points per possession with No. 2 on the floor while amassing an efficient field goal percentage of 60.7%, both of which are the best in the league for a big man.

While the defense has been average with Blake, it’s clear from watching the Nets that he looks like a different player. He is more aggressive as a ball-handler, a better shooter, and more physical in the post. Brooklyn needed these traits in the worst way, and Griffin has provided them.

Griffin might not be the same offensive dynamo that he was in Los Angeles full time, but the difference between Detroit Blake and Brooklyn Blake is startling. With Aldridge forced to hang them up, Griffin will be one of Brooklyn’s most important players down the stretch as they try to survive without Harden.