Nets Notes: Blake Griffin Sharp in Detroit Return
Griffin scores 17 as game three with Nets pits him against Pistons
Blake Griffin’s third game for Brooklyn brought him back to Detroit and Griffin scored 17 points in 20 minutes for the Nets in their 113-11 win.
Traded to Detroit during the 2017-18 season after seven-plus seasons with the Clippers, Griffin led the Pistons to the playoffs while earning All-NBA honors the following season. He last played for Detroit on Feb. 12 before signing with the Nets during the All-Star break, making his Brooklyn debut a week ago.
“There's a lot of people on the other side that I have a lot of respect for and that I have a close relationship with,” said Griffin. “So, it's always great to see them. But, you know, my focus is moving forward and winning games and doing what we're supposed to do. So, it was good to see them but better to get in, get a win and get out.”
The Nets focused on easing Griffin in, building up his conditioning for close to two weeks before he played 15 minutes against the Wizards last Sunday. He scored two points against Washington and eight in Tuesday’s win in Portland before being held out of the second half of a back-to-back, Wednesday’s loss to Utah.
Against the Pistons, Griffin made 5-of-8 shots including both of his 3-point attempts.
“Definitely more comfortable,” said Griffin. “You know, we haven't really had a chance to practice very much so I really, my only action with some of these guys is in these games. So, I am really trying to take advantage of that, the walk throughs and really making sure I'm locked in. And sort of early on, I just wanted to sort of facilitate and do everything I needed to do, not try to force it offensively and tonight I just felt a little bit better, I felt in a little bit better of a rhythm.”
Nets head coach Steve Nash has highlighted Griffin’s playmaking as a significant aspect of his game, and early in the second quarter he had a sharp cross court pass out of the corner to set up a Joe Harris 3-pointer. With the game tied at 82 early in the fourth quarter, Griffin knocked down a deep 3-pointer beyond the top of the key off a feed from James Harden.
“I just tried to get Blake going, man,” said Harden. “They double-teamed me, I hit him for a three. He had confidence in knocking his shot down. He did an unbelievable job as I drove his man. Stepped up a little bit. He went backdoor for the lob. It’s just playing off each other, you know? It’s only been two games since we’ve played, so the more games that we play, the more comfortable he’ll be and our team will be. He made some really great passes tonight to our shooters and the more he’s aggressive, the better off he’ll be for our team.”
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