Blake Griffin is currently out of the rotation for the Brooklyn Nets. He’s sat on the bench for the entirety of the team’s previous three games. That includes a primetime game against the Celtics, a matchup against the red-hot Suns, and a narrow win over the Knicks.
Has head coach Steve Nash taken things a bit too far with the veteran big man?
LaMarcus Aldridge deserved to take Griffin’s place in the starting lineup since he’s averaging 13.6 points per game and is shooting a career-high 57.6% from the field. Meanwhile, Griffin is averaging 5.5 points and is shooting a career-low 31.8% in 17 games played. So, yes, we were in favor of Griffin being benched for Aldridge.
However, it’s puzzling that Griffin’s out of the rotation completely. At first, it seemed like perhaps Nash was giving the 15-year veteran a chance to catch his breath and regain his composure, but Griffin hasn’t played in a game of basketball in over a week. That seems a bit extreme.
Griffin thought so, too. He spoke to the media on Monday and of course, addressed his new reduced role with the Nets.
Blake Griffin shouldn’t be completely out of the rotation for the Brooklyn Nets.
It’s not as if Griffin didn’t see it coming whatsoever. He’s the one who hasn’t been knocking down down and therefore hasn’t been contributing for Brooklyn on the offensive end. Still, it’s hard to see what Nash’s end goal is by not giving Griffin any minutes.
Paul Millsap has benefitted from Griffin’s benching, but the Nets haven’t benefitted from his increased playing time over the past three games. Millsap logged in 17 minutes against Boston and finished with 3 points and 6 rebounds; 8 minutes against Phoenix with 2 points and 1 rebound; and 15 minutes against New York with 2 points and 5 rebounds.
Brooklyn has a lack of depth at the forward/center position, and with Nicolas Claxton out with a non-COVID illness, Griffin certainly needs to be coming off the bench over Millsap.
Millsap’s minutes haven’t been productive. He’s struggled to finish at the rim and doesn’t play as aggressively as Griffin. The former Hawks star is four years older than Griffin, and it’s evident.
Griffin has been nearly worthless for the Nets on the offensive end, but last season he averaged 10 points per game and shot 49.2% from the field. That’s why the Nets decided to sign him to a one-year contract for the 2021-22 season. Griffin’s going through an untimely slump, but at least the Nets know that he can shoot the ball.
Brooklyn has back-to-back games this weekend against Minnesota and Chicago. If Griffin doesn’t at least play in one of those two games, and Millsap continues to fall well short of the low expectations placed upon him, then it’ll be time to question Nash’s intentions.
The player that was a spark for the Nets at the end of last year still has to be in Griffin somewhere, right?