This has not been a good offseason for the Boston Celtics.
Last season, Boston’s bench was weak offensively, especially during their NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors, and the arrival of Brogdon and Gallinari made it the favorite in the minds of many to return to the championship series.
Alas, Gallinari tore his ACL and is presumed to be out for all of the new season.
Then came the Ime Udoka scandal, which resulted in him being suspended by the organization, and his coaching future is very much up in the air.
To bolster their bench, the Celtics signed veteran Blake Griffin a few days ago.
Jaylen Brown giving a warm welcome to Blake Griffin as he joins the Celtics 🍀pic.twitter.com/ZhDVbFHUJN
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 2, 2022
Griffin is not exactly the high-fly act he was several years ago, but over the past season or two, he gave the Brooklyn Nets some decent spot duty, mostly off the bench.
At age 33, some say he’s washed up, while others think that, in the right environment, he can be a solid contributor.
A Look At Griffin’s Recent History
In the early-to-mid 2010s, the 6-foot-9 big man was a central part of the Los Angeles Clippers’ “Lob City” teams that were perennial contenders.
But they failed to reach the Western Conference Finals, and when they decided to blow it up and start over, Griffin was sent packing to the Detroit Pistons.
He shook off some recent injuries to post 24.5 points a game during the 2018-19 season, which earned him his first All-Star bid in four years.
However, his game fell off precipitously the following year, when he only managed 15.5 points per contest, and midway through the 2020-21 campaign, Detroit waived him.
He was picked up by the Brooklyn Nets, and he looked revitalized, as his shooting percentages went way up, and he threw down 18 dunks for Brooklyn in 26 contests with it that year.
Earlier in the season, he had zero dunks as a member of the Pistons.
But last season, he regressed again, putting up only 6.4 points in 17.1 minutes a game while shooting only 42.5 percent from the field and 26.2 percent from 3-point range.
What Do The Celtics Need From Griffin?
Boston needs accurate 3-point shooting, screens and picks, rebounding and defense from Griffin if he is to entrench himself in its rotation.
He has never been a shot blocker, but by bringing the effort defensively, he can endear himself to interim head coach Joe Mazzulla.
Blake Griffin led the NBA with 26 charges drawn last season despite being the only player in the top15 with less than 1000 minutes played.
I went back to see how he sacrificed his body for the team: pic.twitter.com/Z2LOjSXGUx
— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) October 1, 2022
In the last seven seasons, he has shot over 36 percent from downtown only once, and that came in the 2018-19 campaign when he perked up to 36.2 percent.
But Griffin is, and if he is spry enough, he will give the team an adequate enough bench to make another run at the finals.