The Detroit Pistons must be thrilled that Blake Griffin is in great shape and ready to contribute in a big way this season. Nonetheless, he should think twice about shooting from long-distance.
From the moment Blake Griffin took his first dribble this preseason, he appeared to be in tremendous shape.
He was quick and agile on both sides of the ball, which is a good sign. Last year for the Detroit Pistons, he appeared to be bothered by the lower-leg injury he suffered the previous season. Along with that, Griffin’s aggressiveness to be assertive on the offensive end is blatant.
And for the Pistons to be successful this season, a healthy Griffin is needed. However, as Robert DeNiro’s character said in the movie Heat, “there is a flip side to every coin.”
For Griffin, that is his three-point shooting in the preseason.
To say that Griffin was horrible in the preseason from long-distance would be an understatement.
Griffin shot a horrendous 24% (5-21) from beyond the arc in the Pistons’ four preseason games. And the problem isn’t necessarily his terrible shooting from long-range.
Let’s be honest.
Sometimes, players have a bad game or two. In Griffin’s case, there was not even one game that showed promise in his three-point “attack.”
In the Pistons’ first two games against the New York Knicks, he shot 2-7 and 2-5, respectively, from long-distance. Their third game, which was against the Washington Wizards, Griffin went 0-2.
All three showings in those games did not look good, but their next game against the Wizards is the eyesore of all the four games.
Griffin went 1-7 from three-point, as the Pistons lost 99-96. And even though 1-7 looks terrible by looking at the boxscore, but seeing it in action was just as ugly.
It would be one thing if Griffin’s form looked good and some of the three’s he took looked good.
That was not the case here. Even the lone three-pointer Griffin nailed, all of his shots from beyond the arc looked like shots he had no business taking. For his career, his three-point shooting is 33%.
Griffin’s best year from long-range was during the 2014-2015 season when he played for the Los Angeles Clippers when he shot 40%. To add context to that 14-5 season, Griffin only took 25 three-pointers, making 10 of them.
His next best year was during the 2018-2019 season with the Pistons when he shot 36% (189-522). That season is a better sample size when judging Griffin’s recent trey-ball metrics. There’s also his 2017-2018 season. While playing for both the Clippers and Pistons, he shot 35% (111-322).
That’s about as “pretty” as it gets for his best seasons shooting three-pointers.
If the Pistons need a forward to provide spacing, leave that to Jerami Grant.
There was much chatter about Jerami Grant helping with the Pistons spacing this season.
And it showed so far after a bad first game. During the preseason, Grant shot 35% from long-range. The Pistons were ninth in the NBA last season in three-point shooting, with a 36.7%.
Don’t get it twisted. If players can add to their game like Griffin is trying to, it can only help the Pistons. With the NBA growing into a shooter’s league by the minute, adding the long-ball could help the injury-riddled Griffin prolong his career.
When Griffin is comfortable nailing that shot with consistency, it will be a welcomed addition for the Pistons’ offense. Until then, he should stick to his bread and butter.