Sunday, September 24

Is Blake Griffin of the Brooklyn Nets going the same way as Paul Millsap?

Now that we know the Brooklyn Nets and Paul Millsap are working together to find a new team for the four-time All-Star, it’s hard not to wonder if Blake Griffin is just as upset with his limited role. Griffin went from being a fixture for Brooklyn in the playoffs last year to averaging career lows in points (6) and rebounds (4.4) this season.

Griffin started against Cleveland on Nov. 22, and after that Steve Nash cut him out of the rotation entirely. The first pick in the 2009 draft didn’t play again until Dec. 8 when he had seven points (3-for-4) and three rebounds in 13 minutes against Houston.

The 32-year-old’s lack of production on the offensive end is what has hurt him the most. In 26 games with the Nets last season, he shot 49.2% from the field and 38.3% from 3-point range. This year, he is shooting 37.9% from the field and 20.8% from three.

Griffin was a bright spot for Brooklyn when their roster was decimated by health and safety protocols in December, but he has yet to fully regain his footing.

Yet despite his offensive struggles, Griffin’s intensity remains intact. There’s a reason he’s second in the NBA in picks drawn (21).

The Brooklyn Nets don’t need to give up Blake Griffin just yet.

Steve Nash’s rotations have been a source of confusion for many Nets fans, and unfortunately, things don’t look like they’re going to get any better. In Nash’s defense, it’s hard to plan on having a star player just for road games, but he’s still made questionable decisions.

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It didn’t make sense for Nash to move Griffin out of the starting lineup and into the rotation altogether. Griffin started the team’s first 17 games, and since then his role has drastically diminished.

LaMarcus Aldridge has been a hot hand all season for Brooklyn, so Nash going with Aldridge over Griffin is a reasonable decision, especially since the Nets struggle to score at times.

At this time last year, Griffin was still in Detroit. When the Pistons bought him and he signed with Brooklyn, people thought it wasn’t a smart move until he stepped on the floor and proved them wrong.

The player he was less than 10 months ago hasn’t gone too far.

Understandably, his confidence seems to have taken a hit. Griffin’s shots haven’t been slipping and that’s something he’ll need to improve on if he hopes to regain his spot in the rotation.

There’s still time for him to get back in shape before the playoffs start in mid-April. The Nets re-signed Griffin to a one-year deal in the offseason for a reason, and he may yet prove why the organization made the decision to retain him.

Hopefully, he doesn’t feel the same way as Millsap. Nash needs to turn to him more, but sometimes he seems to forget that Griffin is on the bench. For example, he played nothing against the Wizards on Jan. 19 after playing 17 minutes against the Cavaliers two nights earlier.

In a 117-102 win over San Antonio on Jan. 21, Griffin played 11 minutes and finished with 10 points (4-for-8), five rebounds and two assists.

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Brooklyn fell to Minnesota on Sunday, 136-125, and Griffin only appeared for six minutes in the second quarter. In that time, he had five points, two rebounds, one assist and one charge. It would have been beneficial to see a little more of him in the second half.

Griffin remains a productive player and, unlike Millsap, deserves a spot in the Nets’ current rotation. He is not someone who should play more than 30 minutes a game, but he is capable of being a spark of more than 15 minutes off the bench.

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