Reviewing Blake Griffin’s first full season with the Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In his first full season with the Pistons, Blake Griffin proved he was worth every penny and asset it took to bring him to Detroit.

The Detroit Pistons brought Blake Griffin to Detroit midway through the 2017-18 season. The results were mixed as he learned to work with a new team in a new city.

The team risked their foreseeable future potential with loss of a first-round pick and a borderline All-Star in Tobias Harris to acquire Griffin from the Los Angeles Clippers.

However, the 2018-19 season proved the trade was worth the risk.

The Basics

Blake Griffin’s first full season in Detroit saw him improve his game in every aspect — setting himself apart as an MVP candidate early on in the season.

Per Game Averages:


  • 21.4 points
    • 44 percent shooting, 34 percent from three
  • 7.4 rebounds
  • 5.8 assists


  • 24.5 points
    • 46 percent shooting, 36 percent from three
  • 7.5 rebounds
  • 5.4 assists

Griffin’s prominent role in head coach Dwane Casey’s offense helped him have the best scoring season of his career — and his best since the 2013-14 season.

From High-Flier to Sharpshooter

The evolution of Blake Griffin’s game is an underrated story-line among All-Star caliber players in the NBA.

The 2018-19 season saw Griffin’s completed evolution from someone strictly known for vicious dunks to a threat from all over the floor — and a sharpshooter from deep.

The Oklahoma product had 214 made dunks and seven made 3-point shots in his rookie year for the Clippers. He had 37 made dunks last season for the Pistons and 189 made threes.

Despite his late-season knee injury, Griffin showed off his 3-point shooting prowess in Oklahoma City after which Paul George compared Griffin’s nine 3-point makes to Steph Curry.

More. 3 takeaways from Detroit Pistons 123-110 loss to Thunder. light

Griffin finished the season with the most made threes on the team — the 14th most in the NBA last season and the second-most in a single season for a Detroit Piston.

Return to Relevancy

Blake Griffin’s career year in Detroit brought both him and the team back into the public eye.

Griffin suffered a series of injury-plagued years in LA that — along with fierce competition — kept him from being recognized as one of the league’s best players.

However, after a three-year drought, he returned to the All-Star game to represent the Pistons in 2019. Griffin — an early MVP candidate — likely suffered from the team’s struggles mid-season as far as MVP voting goes.

If the team climbs to the third or fourth season with a healthy Griffin, he likely gets into the top-5 at the end of the season.

Griffin brought star-power back to the Motor City.

Injury Bug

Unfortunately, Griffin did not finish the season how he might have hoped.

He missed four of the team’s final seven regular season games and two of the four playoff games against the Milwaukee Bucks.

More. Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin undergoes surgery on injured left knee. light

However, he did show he could still carry a team on virtually one leg:

Griffin’s injured left knee held him back at the end of what was a promising season for the foreseeable future of the Pistons.

At age 30, Griffin showed the value of his leadership in Detroit. His likely All-NBA season is a sign that — with the right roster moves — the Pistons are ready to compete with Griffin sooner rather than later.