Is Blake Griffin the Final Piece to the Brooklyn Nets' Championship Puzzle?

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Photo: Gregory Shamus (Getty Images)

For hoop heads, there’s nothing more disrespectful than being dismissed as a casual fan. But if there’s a single barometer for how well you follow the NBA, it’s your take on Blake Griffin signing to the Brooklyn Nets.

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But first, I’ll allow the six-time All-Star to explain why he joined The Borg, since apparently “resistance was futile.”

“They have a need for a four-man,” he said on Monday during an Ask Me Anything hosted by Bleacher Report. “I’ve always had a lot of respect for Steve Nash and all of the guys that they have. Sean Marks has done a great job there. It was a tough decision and I wanted to be on a team that was contending.”

Well, the Nets are definitely championship contenders and are in dire need of help upfront, it’s just that the Blake Griffin that’s signed with Brooklyn is a far cry from the Blake Griffin that most of the internet believes they’re getting.

To put it frankly, Blake Griffin is washed.

Remember that hoodie you snatched up during that Black Friday sale? The one you hiked in, slept in, Vancouvered in, drank in, partied in, and let your girl “borrow” because she was cold and needed something to wear while you walked her to her car? Does it look the same as the day you first bought it? Are the colors as vibrant? Is the lettering as clean? I mean, the hoodie has sentimental value, but let’s not act like when it’s time to get fresh, you don’t put on something else.

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That’s Blake Griffin.

In a past life, dude was an explosive scorer who used his otherworldly athleticism to routinely destroy his opponents. And I’m not just talking about physically, I’m talking about emotionally. Psychologically. If you were the only thing that stood between Blake and the rim, you could kiss whatever remained of your dignity goodbye. Homie was that vicious.

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I mean, look at this shit:

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But thanks to an endless succession of knee injuries, that man is no more. Sapped almost entirely of his supernatural athleticism, the last time he even dunked the damn ball was in 2019. No, seriously. Mr. Griffin, whose signature move is a fucking slam dunk, hasn’t dunked once this season. Not a single damn time.

And the rest of his game—or at least what’s left of it—leaves much to be desired, too.

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This nigga is washed, y’all.

So what does a dude who’s played a grand total of 38 games the last two seasons and can barely leap over a piece of paper bring to a team that’s in dire need of defense and rebounding? More offense, of course!

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At this stage of his career, Blake is basically a poor man’s Kyle Korver. Over half of his field-goal attempts this season came from behind the arc (I know, I can’t believe it either). So in Brooklyn, he’ll come off the bench (I know, I can’t believe this either) as either a stretch-four or a small ball center that will help space the floor with his electrifying dunks shooting.

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If anything, the Nets can take solace in knowing that while the former Oklahoma Sooner has struggled shooting the rock this year, that was because he was forcing shots. (That kind of thing happens when your athleticism writes you a Dear John letter and you can’t get over or around even your grandmother anymore.) In Brooklyn, however, Durant, Irving, and Harden will draw all types of double teams. So Blake is going from having an armpit in his face every time he shot the rock in Detroit, to having all the time in the world to binge watch WandaVision and Lovecraft Country, devour a breakfast burrito, and get his car washed before every shot in Brooklyn. So expect his three-point percentage to...jump. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Defensively, however, he won’t add jack shit. He can’t keep up with anyone on the perimeter and he’s never had the size to be a dominant force in the middle. But the rest of the team doesn’t play any defense either, so who cares? He’ll feel right at home!

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This is a low-risk move at a bargain bin, veteran’s minimum price. Could it yield fruit? Sure. But not enough to satiate your appetite.

Let’s just hope that Griffin’s knees somehow miraculously remember how to dunk again.

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DISCUSSION

By
IlliniMike

For hoop heads, there’s nothing more disrespectful than being dismissed as a casual fan.


I mean, you can get a gig hosting a national biweekly NBA show on a major cable network being a casual fan.

(I don’t even have to specify which network I’m talking about for that joke to work. Yeah, “Inside the NBA” sucks, but you aren’t off the hook, Paul Pierce)