Technically Blake Griffin returned to the Staples Center on Wednesday when he played the Lakers, but as we know this was his first game playing his former team as a member of the Clippers. What started off with a pretty hilarious interaction between Blake and Steve Ballmer
included a pretty nice tribute video and very awesome reaction from the crowd that you knew was coming
and listen it’s not Blake’s fault about how things went down. He committed long term to this franchise only to get shipped out of town months later. Sure it’s a business but that doesn’t mean he has to be all buddy buddy with Ballmer. You could tell he wanted to be a Clipper for life (for some reason), so the second they shipped him out of town you know he had this game scheduled. By the time he was traded to DET the Pistons had already played in LA, so this was the first chance he had to remind that ownership group what they gave up, and boy did he.
44 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists 3 steals, 1 block on 13-23 shooting, 5 3PM, and a solid 13-14 from the line. Essentially, he dominated and then some.
For the Pistons, this was a big time win for a team that desperately needed one seeing as how they are a pathetic 6-13 on the road this season and had lost 4 in a row coming in. They now trail CHA by just 1 game for the final playoff spot, so to go on the road and beat a good Clippers team has to feel good for both him and their fans. Blake has been playing at a pretty legit MVP level this season as he transition from this dunk only type player to a legit point forward. The Pistons run everything through him and even if he can’t put people on posters like he used to, this new version of Blake is pretty damn scary. It’s almost like he got to DET, decided to change his game in a way that he would still be effective towards the later years of his massive deal and now he’s the best version of himself. The Clippers aren’t exactly in a bad spot post trade either, but you can’t tell me part of them watched that performance today and got a little jealous, how could you not?
The Clippers certainly had their chances as this was a 3 point game with 30 seconds left, but a couple of brutal turnovers first from Harrell and then Sweet Lou ultimately did them in. This loss now has them slide down to the 7 spot, right ahead of their rival Lakers who they own a 1.5 game lead over.
All things considered, I’m happy for Blake that he had this type of return to face the Clippers. While having $171M sure is nice, they still did him dirty no matter how you want to slice it. Raise his jersey to the rafters in his pitch meeting only to then immediately ship him off to cold ass Detroit who stinks. Good on him for getting his revenge.