Blake Griffin, who is in year two of a five-year, $171MM deal, is enjoying a resurgence a year after he was traded to the Pistons, Noah Trister of The Associated Press writes. Griffin expanded his offense, adding the 3-pointer to his game, which is something he credits for his success this year.
“It helps a lot, especially in today’s NBA, with everybody spacing the floor a little bit more, and playing with a guy like Dre (Andre Drummond), who’s so effective inside,” Griffin said. “To be able to give him a little bit more space is a good thing. I always see guys working to expand their range, and when you do, you see them add years to their career.”
Griffin has already made a career-high 134 shots from behind the arc this season. Here’s more on the Pistons and a few other teams in the Eastern Conference:
- Pistons coach Dwane Casey believes Griffin’s basketball I.Q. has helped the team stay in the playoff race, Trister relays in the same piece. “He’s thinking the game. He’s a couple steps ahead,” Casey said. “I’ve had a lot of great forwards, power forwards, and he’s right up there with the best, whether it’s [Dirk Nowitzki], [Kevin] Garnett, Detlef Schrempf — just a lot of great players that I’ve been around. He’s right in that category.”
- Myles Turner, who signed a four-year, $72MM extension with the Pacers earlier this season, should be considered a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star contends. Turner is leading the league in blocks per game (2.7) and he has the league’s third-best defensive rating (99.6), giving him the credentials to be in the conversation for the award.
- Michael Scotto of The Athletic examines how the Nets got a steal in the secon -round with Rodions Kurucs. Kurucs, who was the No. 40 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft, has worked his way into Brooklyn’s starting lineup after beginning the season buried on the depth chart.