clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Blake Griffin’s presence not just his scoring doomed the 76ers

Game Day Film Room: Blake Griffin combines gravity, high basketball IQ and incredible athleticism into dominating performance

Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Game Day Film Room will be a strategy-based film review segment. Don’t expect highlight reel dunks or blocks. Do expect a deeper look at Pistons’ concepts both good and bad.

Blake Griffin’s offensive creation

We discussed the brilliance of Blake Griffin’s career-night already but it’s not just the internet-breaking buckets that did in the Ben Simmons-less 76ers. Nope, Griffin’s mere existence provided the necessary offensive backdrop to 133 Pistons’ points.

If attracting double-teams were illegal then Blake Griffin is going to need a good lawyer. Many lawyers, actually. Like, an entire team of cunning, shrewd and slick advocates because the evidence is stacked against him.

With the ball:

Griffin’s strong on-ball presence kept the 76ers in an ongoing loop of help and recovery. Whether the possessions ended with a Detroit miss, a Griffin assist, no Griffin assist, a Griffin hockey assist or anything else in between isn’t the point. The unequivocal lesson is the Pistons generated the exact looks they wanted.

Even without the ball, Griffin was the focal point of Philadelphia’s defense:

Remember all those spacing concerns that were forced down our collective throats this offseason? Below, Dario Saric cannot leave Griffin unattended in the corner:

It certainly makes Joel Embiid’s job - along with his sinking and rotating teammates - much more inconvenient with a legit corner threat.

50 points is great and all but let’s not forget about these off-hand dimes:

As the game progressed, Philadelphia tried checking Griffin with Embiid. Baiting the 76ers big away from the basket meant Andre Drummond had a chance to crash the offensive glass with only a handful of relative midgets to contest with:

It’s offensive creation of a different kind.

The continued good and bad of Andre Drummond

DBB understands and appreciates this storyline all too well. Ups and downs, ebbs and flows, you know the deal.

Why we love Andre Drummond:

Absolutely smothers T.J McConnell and leaves him nowhere to go.

What he hate about Andre Drummond (sometimes):

If we’re being honest here, DBB, I’d rather see a pull-up 3-point attempt.

Why we love and hate Drummond within the same sequence:

Secures an offensive rebound that only a handful of NBA players could snatch but then immediately gifts the ball back to Philadelphia.

Drummond pushing the pace on his own, at least on a consistent basis, is something new and a concept I can get behind:

As long as he locates a (better) ball-handler and relinquishes rock pounding duties at the first available time:

You’re doing a lot, Dre, don’t do too much.

I’m still on board with opportunistic possessions in which Drummond floats along the three-point line. This miss isn’t the worst thing in the world:

But we can do better.

The entire point of Drummond’s green light is to provide spacing. If Dre’s check is at the dotted line (like above), you have to entice the check to come out and play defense or the strategy falls flat. Instead of launching a three, which, again, I don’t mind, Dwane Casey should encourage the big fella to get his teammates involved. Using the above example, how about a DHO with Reggie Jackson? It look something like this:

Jackson (or any capable scorer) would demand Drummond’s check to help. Now you’ve got a scrambling and recovering defense and now you’ve got space.

X and O of the night

“He who screens properly will become open himself.” It’s a well known basketball proverb essentially meaning: do your job and good things will happen. Above, McConnell must help Ish Smith’s rip screen for Griffin resulting in a clean catch and look for Smith.

Defensive concerns

Detroit and Casey still have a long wa....

Would you look at that, we’re out of time. Bummer, because giving up 132 points isn’t a winning formula and the Pistons need much work on that end. We’ll get to it.

14-6 should mean something to you so let’s not get carried away but it also shouldn’t stop you from enjoying last night. That shit was fun.