Andre Drummond is really good.
Derrick Rose is a fine player.
Luke Kennard is an improving player, who’s proven to be a hit at the 12th slot in the 2017 draft.
But, it seems the Detroit Pistons and fans alike have forgotten something... None of these guys are Blake Griffin. It’s time to remember who the hell this guy is.
The Pistons took another heartbreaking loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, by the score of 102-101. The final play has been the subject of criticism, as the Pistons once again failed to even get a shot off against the Hornets.
However, the Pistons played like they wanted to lose the final three minutes of the game. For some reason, the Pistons acted as if they didn’t have a clear cut superstar and a closer on their roster.
Lets look at the Pistons final three minutes of offensive plays.
Their first shot came at 2:44:
Griffin received a kick-out from Rose with the shot clock winding down. Griffin took a contested three, although it was over the miniature Terry Rozier, and missed. Luckily, Drummond was there to clean it up and get a layup.
The beginning of my issues start here. With Griffin on your team, who had hit four threes in the second half and was heating up, the entire offense should be ran through him.
I understand the Pistons got other ball-handlers this off-season so they could take the load off of Griffin’s shoulders, but that should go out the window in the clutch. Griffin is the Pistons best player and best option when it comes to literally anything on offense.
The Pistons’ next shot attempt came at 1:52:
In this play, Kennard is able to create a floater and makes it. Earlier in the play, Rose ran a pick-and-roll with Griffin. Griffin had some contact that forced him to the ground, and effectively took him out the play.
Not much to complain about here - Kennard got a good shot off, and Griffin was out the play due to falling on the ground.
The next Pistons shot came at 1:23:
This another example of, “You have Blake Griffin, what is going on?”.
Kennard races up the floor, but wisely pulls out when he realizes Detroit doesn’t have numbers. He gives it to Rose, who maybe has a mismatch being guarded by P.J. Washington, but also had struggled all night getting the ball in the hoop.
Just like all night, Rose is capable of getting past his man. But, the Hornets once again go flying at Rose to the rim, leaving BLAKE GRIFFIN wide open on the right wing.
Rose, instead, either ignores Griffin or doesn’t see him. Either way, another possession that doesn’t go through your superstar basically results in a turnover.
The next Pistons shot attempt happens at 42 seconds:
The Pistons finally work through Griffin. Griffin dribble hand-offs with Rose, and gets the switch.
Knowing how much attention the Hornets had been putting on Rose, Batum once again forgets he’s even guarding Griffin. This time thankfully, Griffin calls for the ball actively as you see in the video.
Griffin receives the ball, hits his fourth three of the second half, and pulls the Pistons within one.
Now, we come to the final play of the game:
Okay here’s the play.— KUpa Kid (@KuKhahilNBA) November 28, 2019
Again, I’d like to have full 13 but can’t find it.
I find it hard now to see what rose really could’ve done here. The pass to Dre isn’t nearly as open as I once thought. And the double came at perfect time to throw the shot off. pic.twitter.com/fazHchVfTe
For some inexplicable reason, Griffin doesn’t even seem apart of this play. The play-call is a pick-and-roll with Rose and Drummond. Griffin is literally just standing alone on the left wing.
After how Rose messed up the last final possession against the Hornets, you’d think with Griffin out there, head coach Dwane Casey would go through his best player, who was feeling it. But, nope. Griffin isn’t even apart of the Pistons potential game-winning play. Just wait, something else makes it even worse.
The 4-5 pick-and-roll with Griffin and Drummond has been a force since the superstar arrived in Detroit. Along with this, Griffin is the only player healthy on the roster that apparently is capable of throwing Drummond lobs.
And take a guess what is wide open on this play... the lob. But not only does Rose not hit the lob, Rose doesn’t even get the shot off.
In fairness to Rose, this playcall just seemed doomed from the beginning. Griffin was not involved in it and with the time remaining, it would’ve been hard for Rose to make any other play but the lob. However, why exactly Griffin isn’t even involved in the play is beyond me. Everyone should be demanding an answer from Casey on this decision.
The Pistons went out and got help for Griffin in the off-season, to try and make things easier for him throughout the season.
Ed Stefanski didn’t go out and get players to replace Griffin.
Stefanski didn’t go out and get players to take clutch moments away from Griffin.
Stefanski didn’t go out and get players to forget about Blake freakin’ Griffin.
It’s time Casey, the staff, and the players to remember who The Guy is.