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How Blake Griffin’s long ball fits in with the Detroit Pistons

A look into Blake Griffin’s game beyond the arc.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Before we get started - let the DBB Book of Records forever show I’m in favor of this trade.

Ok, that’s out-of-the-way and we can promptly move on.

There is a lot to unpack with “Detroit Pistons power forward Blake Griffin” so lets take this step-by-step starting with Griffin’s three-point stroke and how it fits in with Detroit’s established(?) offense.

Griffin dabbled in three-point shooting prior to this year but his previous season high of 38 makes is largely ordinary.

As the game continues to expand far past the three-point line, players, coaches and DBB must adjust accordingly. Adapt or die, right?

In only 33 games this year, he’s already connected on 64 long-balls at a 34-percent clip. With a volume of nearly six(!) attempts a game, it’s safe to say he feels comfortable pulling the trigger.

Not too bad for a three-point newb.

In shot-chart form, it looks something like this:

You know what’s boring, though?

Numbers without context.

How he’s getting those shots off is much more meaningful than some yawn-inducing shot-chart.

If you’ve watched the Pistons play for any amount of time this year, you surely notice they —like all teams—have a certain set of plays and sets in which they lean on.

For instance, this double-screen Horns look is a staple:

Pair a shooting big with a rolling big and let the fun begin. It’s nothing particularly innovative but it’s effective and it was used in LaLa land to free up Griffin:

We’ve all witnessed Andre Drummond transform his offensive game which includes initiating offense from the dribble hand-off. If called upon, Griffin has shown the capability to do so as well but can step back beyond the arc to finish the possession:

Another Drummond trait and Pistons’ favorite is the drag screen:

Drummond—a monster on the boards—will often be the last person to cross the timeline due to his defensive rebounding commitment.

Similarly, Griffin will do the same but can set the screen or spot-up:

When the Memphis Grizzlies employed both Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, the offensive menu included a double drag-screen for their trailing bigs or a spot-up by Gasol and a screen by Randolph (which is essentially the same thing):

The variables aren’t the exact same in Detroit with Griffin and Drummond but you don’t have to squint hard to make out the positives of two rebounding bigs.

Griffin scores 1.25 PPP as the roll man in the PNR with a handful of those coming from a pick-and-pop:

He’s no Tobias Harris in the spot-up shooting category but he’s respectable and must be accounted for:

Color me fascinated in how Stan Van Gundy will use Blake Griffin beyond the three-point line.

I’ve asked SBNation for a $10 Jets Pizza gift certificate and assuming my demands are met, I’ll dive into his playmaking role later in the week.

Oh, and cheer up Jamie, we’ll be just fine!