Brooklyn Nets CEO says Blake Griffin is feeling good, not shocking
Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks was not on social media Tuesday night when his starting forward, Blake Griffin, started going with the trend after two thunders over Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III.
But he wasn’t surprised that the former dunk contest champion could still do it.
“He would be the first to tell you that he won’t be hopping over a car anytime soon,” Marks told ESPN. “But I think it’s pretty clear to pretty much anyone watching him play, he feels good.
“I honestly think it’s almost, day by day he’s getting better and better.”
When he joined the Nets as a free agent in February, after making a buyout deal with the Detroit Pistons, Griffin hadn’t plunged into a game since December 12, 2019. In 28 games since he joined joined the Nets, he dived 19 times. . But it’s not just a change of scenery – or championship prospects – that gives it a boost.
Griffin manager Taylor Griffin told ESPN his brother had always targeted March on his return from a second arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, which hampered him during Detroit’s run to his first playoff appearance in three years during the 2019 season.
When the NBA decided to postpone the start of this season to Christmas. Griffin still had three months of rehabilitation work to do to return from his second knee surgery in less than nine months.
“It was definitely a rushed schedule,” said Taylor Griffin. “And I think we saw that a lot of guys just needed a little more time to get back into full shape.
“He had already been so absent from the previous year, there was no way he would be away [the start of this season]. … His knee was 100% healthy, but there’s a difference between your body being healthy and ready to play NBA-level minutes every night.
In other words, Griffin wasn’t going to soak much. He had already suffered too much of a setback after the first surgery, in April 2019, failed to correct the knee problem. “It wasn’t as clean the first time around as we hoped it would be,” said Taylor Griffin. “He always felt like there was something wrong the whole time he was trying to play last season.
“But it was like night and day after the second surgery [in January 2020]. “
Griffin averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 20 games for the Pistons this season before both sides agreed to work on a trade-in or buy-back deal. The Pistons were starting a rebuild under new GM Troy Weaver, while Griffin, 31, had just spent a year and a half trying to straighten the knee so he could pick up where it left off, when the Pistons pulled it off. . the playoffs.
Griffin returned a significant sum as part of his buyout deal with the Pistons. Once he cleared the waivers, Brooklyn quickly became his first choice.
Marks and the Nets had a long view on Griffin’s health when they signed him as a free agent.
“We were going to take our time with him,” Marks said. “Just to make sure we don’t push it too far, too fast, too soon and so on.” We knew what we were getting in terms of a veteran and a high IQ player. It was therefore a question of being able to maximize what he had left in terms of his career. And from the first day we got it, we could see, ‘OK, there’s more out there.’ “
Griffin was much more productive, in about 10 minutes less per game with the Nets, than he was with the Pistons, shooting 12.7% better from the field and 6.8% better from behind the arc at 3 points.
But it was these dunks that turned heads on social media.
“We knew he could still dive like this,” said Griffin’s longtime agent Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports. “It wasn’t a surprise. It was just a matter of time.”