Detroit Pistons: So how did Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose perform in NBA playoff opener

Derrick Rose #25 and Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Derrick Rose #25 and Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Blake Griffin Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets power forward Blake Griffin (2).Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

The point is Blake Griffin is with Brooklyn in playoffs

Blake Griffin has never been with a team that had gotten past the second round of the playoffs. That might change now that he is with the Brooklyn Nets.

With the (now healthy) triumvirate of James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the Nets are the heavy betting favorite to win the Eastern Conference, even though they are the No. 2 seed.

Griffin did get decent playing time when he arrived in Brooklyn. He played in 26 games, started 10, and averaged 10 points in about 20 minutes a game.

While his scoring average was a bit down (he played 10 minutes a game less than in Detroit), his offensive shooting statistics improved _ in some aspects dramatically _ from what he had been giving the Pistons.

This was noticed by certain Detroit fans. They also noticed he dunked with the Nets, something he had not done in his last two years with Detroit.

light. Related Story. Blake Griffin explains his dunking and Detroit Pistons time

The Nets opened up the NBA playoffs with the Boston Celtics. Boston was missing Jaylen Brown but they still had Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart. The Celts also have made the Eastern finals three out of the last four years, so they have a bundle of playoff experience.

Griffin ended up being the starting center for the Nets in Game 1. Ironically, in Detroit, Griffin was steadfast at playing almost solely power forward. Andre Drummond and, this season, Mason Plumlee were the Pistons centers when Griffin was there.

Ironically, DeAndre Jordan was the Clippers center back when Griffin was there. Both are now with Brooklyn, and Griffin started ahead of Jordan, as the Celtics have very little inside game.

You could say the strategy worked. The Nets won, 104-93, although Boston opened the game with a 12-point advantage against the starting five.

Griffin’s statistics were not overpowering: one point, four assists, three rebounds and two steals in 20 minutes.

After the game, Griffin told the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz how it was to play with the ‘Big 3’, who rarely were on the court together during the regular season.

"A lot of times watching film or seeing highlights you do see that and you do notice the luxury that we do have with those three guys,’’ Griffin said. “But there’s not a lot of time to stop in the middle of a game and have those thoughts.”"

Griffin was a +1 in the game so the Nets did not exactly dominate when he was out there, but he did not hurt them either. It will be interesting to see how Griffin is used in the rest of the playoffs.

If Brooklyn gets past Boston, they most likely will face the Milwaukee Bucks and then the Philadelphia 76ers, two teams with very strong inside games.