Detroit Pistons: 2018-19 player grades for Blake Griffin

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /


In the first chapter of his career with the Clippers, Griffin made a mainstream-famous name for himself as a rim-wrecking dunk machine.

He was the second coming of Shawn Kemp on the court, but he also played in L.A. and possessed the kind of comedic chops that helped him land Hollywood acting roles. Griffin was a superstar with the Clippers whose brand was built largely on dunking.

The Detroit version of Griffin is a different player — and arguably a better one.

Now 30 years old and with a track record of injuries, Griffin can still get up and put a 7-footer on a poster on occasion, but he generally depends more on all-around skill to produce his All-Star numbers.

Pistons head coach Dwane Casey employed Griffin as a playmaking point-forward, and Griffin responded by leading the team in assists. He also led the team in 3-pointers made and attempted while shooting 36.2 percent beyond the arc.

It wasn’t like Griffin was only a dunker in L.A. It was unfair to label him a one-trick pony before Detroit, and it’s especially inaccurate now. Griffin has turned himself into a player who can perform the duties of pretty much any position on the court, from initiating offense off the dribble to hitting 3-pointers, to posting up, and everything in between.

Considering that Griffin is due over $109 million for the next three years on his contract, one of the best things about this past season is that he was mostly healthy. His 75 regular-season games were the most he’s logged since the 2013-14 season.