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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Derrick Rose New York Knicks
May 23, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) drives past New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose (4). Mandatory Credit: Seth Wenig/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

A dose of Derrick Rose apparently is exactly what the doctor ordered for the New York Knicks.

After Rose’s first game with New York, a loss at Miami, the Knicks had a record of 11-15. Honestly, after almost a decade of futility, making the Play-in tournament would have been seen as a successful season.

However, the Knicks simply went on a tear after that, becoming one of the NBA’s hottest teams.  At one point, they had a nine-game winning streak, and a couple of times won three games in a row.

After Rose’s debut, the Knicks were 30-16 the rest of the way and ended up as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. At the time of the Rose trade, if someone said the Knicks would have a better record than the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, they would have been laughed at.

Like Griffin, Rose saw all his offensive statistics improve when he moved to his new team. Unlike Griffin, his minutes increased (from 22 in Detroit to 26 with NY) plus his scoring average went up from 14.2 to 14.9 (although he still  rarely started).

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In the playoff opener at Madison Square Garden against the Atlanta Hawks, Rose played 38 minutes and scored 17 points with five assists and five rebounds.

The Hawls led at the end  but it appeared Rose was sending the game into overtime, when he hit a foul-line jumper with 9.8 seconds remaining to tie the score at 105-105.

Of  course, we know there was no overtime. Atlanta’s Trae Young sank a game-winning shot, to break the hearts of Spike Lee and all Knicks fans.

Hawks-Knicks appears  to be a battle between two pretty evenly-matched teams. It is also, quite obvious, that Rose will be a key player for the Knicks throughout the series.

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In a bit of irony, Rose did not start the playoff opener, while Blake Griffin did for his team, yet Rose played a lot more and filled up the stat sheet.

All you can say from the Detroit perspective is, this is what they wanted, let’s see what happens.