Central Notes: Griffin, Jackson, Leaf, Parker

After dealing with various injuries in recent seasons, Blake Griffin is healthy and looking to regain respect by leading the Pistons back to the playoffs this season. Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press writes about how Griffin’s game has evolved and adapted in recent seasons to account for his decline in athleticism. Gone are the nightly posterizing dunks, with a reliable 3-point shot and improved playmaking abilities in their place.

Ellis also details the injuries Griffin has suffered in recent seasons, as well as the work he put in over the offseason to improve his game and his durability. In 25 games with the Pistons last season, Griffin averaged 19.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game while knocking down 34.8% of his 3-pointers.

With Griffin, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson all healthy, the Pistons are hopeful that the trio can lead them back to the playoffs in the weakened Eastern Conference. While the Pistons struggled after trading for Griffin, they didn’t get a true look at how good they can be with a healthy team. With new head coach Dwane Casey leading the way, there is optimism throughout the organization.

There’s more from the Central division:

  • Speaking of Griffin and Jackson, Casey revealed that there is no minutes restriction for either player, according to Keith Langlois, the editor of the Pistons‘ website (via Twitter). This is a good indication that both players are fully healthy and in game shape to begin the season.
  • Following a “no comment” response from Jabari Parker when asked if he would accept any role given to him, Will Perdue of NBC Sports Chicago writes that Parker can only be a positive addition to the Bulls if he puts the team ahead of his individual goals and desires. Parker struggled throughout the preseason, but has an opportunity to rebound his value in Chicago this season.
  • Mark Montieth answered several Pacers-related questions in a mailbag for the team’s website. In it he addresses T.J. Leaf‘s potential role this season, with it likely being a 10th or 11th man due to the team’s depth and Leaf’s youth as the Pacers look to build on last season’s surprising success.
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4 thoughts on “Central Notes: Griffin, Jackson, Leaf, Parker

  1. diller79

    Pistons will out-preform most peoples expectations this year with huge impact from new coach Casey

    • bravesfan88
      bravesfan88

      Casey can have a decent impact for the Pistons, but if they’re going to make the playoffs, it’ll mostly be due to their roster staying healthy, not so much Casey..

      The Pistons have to stay healthy, and they’ll also need more production from the likes of Bullock, but especially growth and production from Johnson, Kennard, and their rookie Thomas..

      If everything goes well, then they can fight with the Pacers, Bucks, and Wizards to be that leader of the 2nd tier of teams in the East, behind Boston, Philly, and Toronto..They’ll likely end up around the 5-6th seed, regardless, but if they can’t stay healthy, then they might not even make the playoffs…

      • diller79

        Agreed about the young players needing to have significant growth and production to reach the teams ceiling and Casey is a huge part of that because he is known for getting the most out of young players which is a dramatic change from Stan Van Gundy who hated to give significant minutes to young players and not helping them progress. And relying on Blake and Reggie s health isn’t ideal but with them in lineup the team has unreal chemistry on and off the court

  2. Read on “The Athletic” that with all the free agents they will have, likely next summer they will wait until all the free agents are signed to see how much room they will have under the luxury tax to sign Myles Turner.

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