Before last season, Blake Griffin was riding high. He was coming off of an all-NBA third team selection and ranking No. 23 in ESPN’s Top 100 players list.
Now, we all know that ESPN’s rankings are
incredibly scientific and equally important pointless click exercises. Still, it was nice to see Griffin get deserving recognition as he went from the bright lights of LA to the cold winters in Detroit as a leader of the Pistons.
A year later, and things look much different. That is due in large part to Griffin missing most of the past season with a knee issue that hobbled him when he was on the floor and eventually shut him down prematurely.
This year, Griffin has tumbled all the way down to No. 65 in the ESPN Top 100 rankings. That’s a solid six spots below Tyler Herro. And, believe me, it’s taking everything in my power not to turn this post into an anti-Tyler Herro screed.
HE HAS A .55 TRUE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE! HE AVERAGED 13.5 POINTS AND DOESN’T DO ANYTHING OUTSIDE OF SCORING! THE HEAT PLAYED 8.4 POINTS PER 100 POSSESSIONS BETTER WITH HIM OFF THE COURT!! LUKE KENNARD IS BETTER!!!!
Sorry about that. I think I got that out of my system.
Anyway ... the drop for Griffin is not unexpected, but I look forward to Blake reminding people all over the NBA that he is healthy and effective again and better than players like Lonzo Ball, TJ Warren and Kevin Love.
The Pistons’ other highly paid player, the newly signed Jerami Grant is the only other player that made the Top 100 coming in at No. 88 just below team-first guard Buddy Hield and Brook Lopez. The reason Grant ranks so low despite a seemingly reliable amount of offense and very versatile defense is an inability to create offense for himself with ESPN’s Kevin Pelton noting Grant ran just 69 pick-and-rolls all of last season.
ESPN released only the players from 51-100, but if Griffin and Grant rank this low, I’m confident that no other Pistons will be sniffing this list.
What do you think? A proper accounting for a pretty talent-deficient team or just another Detroit vs. Everybody situation?