Full disclosure: I grew up on the eastside of metro Detroit.
With that said, my following take on the immediate future of Pistons’ basketball might seem like pure homerism but I fully believe Woodward is played out and the 2018 championship parade should go down Gratiot. Give the eastside a chance!
Who’s with me?
Before we debate optimal parade routes, let’s revisit Blake Griffin’s debut, specifically, on the offensive end while saving the important stuff for The Close Out.
Star player debuts and the accompanying expectations often fall flat on their face as players tend to let emotions get the best of them. It’s certainly understandable but Griffin delivered as hoped.
As Griffin gets slowly settled into his new surroundings, there was a familiar face waiting for him at Little Caesars Arena: the free throw line. He scored 24 points on just 12 shots thanks in large part to 13 free throw attempts.
His offensive aggression—alone—changes the dynamics of this sputtering Pistons’ offense.
No matter which way you slice it, there is going to be an adjustment period for both Stan Van Gundy and his new polished power forward toy. Rotations and game-play modifications will need tinkering but last night seem to suggest the struggle to fit in might be minimal.
Griffin’s inside-outside skillset will prove bothersome for defenders in the Pistons’ double-screen look:
He can pop or roll effectively which opens up new avenues for Detroit as Drummond (Moreland) always rolled and Harris (Tolliver) always popped. Defense is easy if you know what’s coming.
In the pick-and-roll, Griffin can operate as the ball-handler:
Or the screen-setter:
One of Ish Smith’s favorite looks is to generate offense out the logo PNR which is universal play that Griffin can slide into:
The Pistons were in desperate need of a go-to creater to score or set up teammates and Griffin checks both boxes:
It can also derive from the post:
Or on the run:
Finally, maybe Griffin can add a little spice to our vanilla DHOs:
If it’s not too much to ask for, I’d like the parade to be on a weekend, specifically on a Saturday. I’m throwing Saturday, June 23rd in the mix.
Who’s with me?