Photo from Detroit Pistons via Twitter
By: Glen Ivol
Sometimes when you’re stuck in the middle-class of the NBA, you need to take a gamble. Last Monday, the Pistons did just that with their blockbuster move with the Clippers for new franchise centerpiece Blake Griffin. Coming off eight consecutive losses and falling out of the playoffs in the surprisingly tough Eastern Conference, Stan Van Gundy pulled the trigger on this deal that should certainly change the direction of the team. There is the obvious skeptics to trading for Griffin, mainly his extensive injury history and max contract, but players like Griffin don’t just fall into a team like the Pistons laps every day. Van Gundy and co. in the Pistons front office realized that getting players to sign in Detroit would not be the easiest task and have turned mostly to the trade avenue to get their players. Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris, and Avery Bradley (both of the latter two used to get Griffin) were all brought to Detroit in recent years by trade, showing the Griffin framework falls under the same philosophy.
The early signs on the deal are extremely positive for the Pistons. They are 4-0 since the trade with Griffin playing in the last three. Griffin’s stat lines have been impressive, totaling 61 points, 28 rebounds, 18 assists and 5 three’s with a +43 plus/minus in his three games. However, Blake opens up the court for the Pistons and the fit with Drummond has worked (albeit limited sample size) with Griffin playing at the top of the key and in the middle of the floor and with Drummond continuing to terrorize the post. As long as Van Gundy has one of the big’s on the court and staggers their minutes, they should keep rolling.
We all know the NBA is a game of streaks and after eight losses in a row and now rattling off four straight wins, how far will the Pistons rise? Playoffs in the Motor City? Blake and Andre sure hope so.
(All stats courtesy of NBA.com)
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