BOSTON — After an entire week of Celtics drama—it feels good to get back to some basketball talk.
Today the C’s picked up Blake Griffin for a 1-year-deal that’s fully guaranteed. Griffin, the former slam dunk champion, high flyer, and 20 point scorer will now head to Boston. He spent the last two years in a Nets uniform (notice how I said uniform because he didn’t play much). Although he’s past his prime, here’s what he brings to the Celtics:
Front court scoring
I may sound like a broken record but I’ll say this again: The C’s need some inside scoring. With recent pickup Danilo Gallinari injured for the season, Robert Williams III out for 8 to 12 weeks, and an aging Alford—the C’s are powerless down low. Sure, we’re a decade away from Griffin’s double-double rookie of the year days in Los Angeles or his 24 points a night in Detroit. However, Griffin can still overpower smaller guys but is quick enough to get around centers.
One of the major reasons the Celtics lost to the Golden State Warriors in the finals was because of fatigue. The C’s best players played a lot of minutes because they lacked the same depth the Warriors possessed. That’s why Gallinari and Brogdon were initially picked up. Well now with one guy out, and their starting center out as well, the C’s are back at square one. Griffin won’t start. He’ll be the guy off the bench that can hopefully bring energy when needed.
New dynamic to offense
The 6 foot 9 forward out of Oklahoma is no longer in lob city catching alley-oops from Chris Paul on fast breaks. However, Griffin is accustomed to west coast style of play in which the Celtics could use. With Griffin’s size and speed—he can run the floor better than the bigs the C’s already have. He adds a new dynamic to that offense.
It may seem silly to say a guy that’s never been to an NBA finals can bring veteran experience to a team fresh off a championship appearance—but Griffin can do just that. The reason being is his +10 years in the league, and after the Celtics will have to go through the season without head coach Ime Udoka, and with an inexperienced guy instead—Blake was brought for his veteran experience as well.
Despite all of the points listed above, Griffin is still past his prime. Last year he averaged 6.4 points a game on 17 minutes a night. He doesn’t dunk as much anymore. But his name is known around the league. And after so much drama, the Celtics may have picked him up to get people talking more about their players than their front office and coaches. This could just be a distraction. Or it could get more hype surrounding them since the eastern conference has gotten a lot better while the C’s look stagnant. I guess we’re just going to have to wait until the season to see—don’t you just love sports?