Now that we know that the Brooklyn Nets and Paul Millsap are working together to find a new team for the four-time All-Star, it’s hard to not wonder if Blake Griffin is as displeased with his limited role. Griffin went from being a fixture for Brooklyn in the playoffs last year to averaging a career-low in points (6) and rebounds (4.4) this season.
Griffin started against Cleveland on Nov. 22 and after that, Steve Nash removed him from the rotation completely. The No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft didn’t play again until Dec. 8 when he scored seven points (3-of-4) and pulled down three rebounds in 13 minutes against Houston.
The 32-year-old’s lack of production on the offensive end is what’s hurt him the most. In the 26 games that he played in with the Nets last season, he shot 49.2% from the field and 38.3% from the 3-point line. This year, he’s shooting 37.9% from the field and 20.8% from three.
Griffin was a bright spot for Brooklyn when its roster was decimated by the health and safety protocols in December, but he still hasn’t been able to fully regain his footing.
However, despite his offensive woes, Griffin’s intensity is still intact. There’s a reason why he’s second in the NBA in charges drawn (21).
The Brooklyn Nets don’t need to give up on Blake Griffin just yet.
Steve Nash’s rotations have been a cause of confusion for many Nets fans, and unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as if things are going to get better. In Nash’s defense, it’s difficult to plan to have one star player for road games only, but he’s still made questionable decisions.
It didn’t make sense for Nash to move Griffin from out of the starting lineup to out of the rotation entirely. Griffin started in the team’s first 17 games, and ever since then, his role has drastically decreased.
LaMarcus Aldridge has been a hot hand all season for Brooklyn, so Nash turning to Aldridge over Griffin is a reasonable decision, especially since the Nets struggle to score at times.
At this time last year, Griffin was still in Detroit. When the Pistons bought him out and he signed with Brooklyn, people believed that it wasn’t a smart move until he stepped on the court and proved them wrong.
The player that he was less than 10 months ago isn’t too far gone.
Understandably, his confidence seems to have taken a hit. Griffin’s shots haven’t been falling and that’s something that he’s going to need to improve if he hopes to re-carve his place in the rotation.
There’s still time for him to get back into form before the playoffs start in mid-April. The Nets re-signed Griffin to a one-year deal in the offseason for a reason and he can still prove why the organization made the move to keep him.
Hopefully, he’s not feeling the same way as Millsap. Nash needs to turn to him more, but at times it feels like he forgets that Griffin is on the bench. For instance, he didn’t play at all against the Wizards on Jan. 19 after playing in 17 minutes against the Cavaliers two nights before.
On Jan. 21’s 117-102 win over San Antonio, Griffin played in 11 minutes and finished with 10 points (4-of-8), five rebounds, and two assists.
Brooklyn fell to Minnesota on Sunday, 136-125, and Griffin only appeared in six minutes in the second quarter. In that amount of time, he had five points, two rebounds, one assist, and one charge. It would’ve been beneficial to see a bit more of him in the second half.
Griffin is still a productive player and unlike Millsap, deserves a spot in the Nets’ current rotation. He’s not someone that should be playing 30+ minutes per game, but he’s capable of being a 15+ minute spark off the bench.