Blake Griffin was traded to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday but won’t be ready for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Who knows if that will actually be a good thing for the Cavs, prone to playing up and down to their competition.
The Cavs are coming off a 121-104 win Sunday over the Pistons — but they’re not these Pistons.
Since the teams last met, the Pistons acquired Griffin, the All-Star forward, in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers (along with forwards Willie Reed and Brice Johnson).
Headed out are forward Tobias Harris, guard Avery Bradley, center Boban Marjanovic and some draft picks. Of course, the Pistons have already been without injured starting point guard Reggie Jackson for quite some time.
So basically, the Cavs (29-19) will be facing Andre Drummond and what’s left of the Pistons when they tip off at 8 p.m. in the shiny new Little Caesars Arena.
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) January 30, 2018
Cleveland pulled away from Detroit in the fourth quarter of their game Sunday. The Pistons had Harris in the starting lineup, but Bradley (hamstring) did not play and Marjanovic was a DNP Coach’s Decision.
“We’re pleased to welcome Blake Griffin, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson to the Detroit Pistons,” Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Blake has been an All-NBA performer, he’s a five-time All-Star and a player that commands attention whenever he’s on the floor. His presence will help us offensively and his size gives us another rebounder and weapon in the paint.”
He said he’s looking forward to having Reed and Johnson on his squad, as well.
“Willie Reed and Brice Johnson are two young players that give us size and depth,” he said.
All of that may work when Griffin and his new teammates are actually in uniform together. For now, though, they will try to beat the Cavs as a shell of what they hope to become.
And if we know anything about these Cavs, we know they need to be careful and not sleepwalk their way through Detroit. They have won two in a row and need to try to keep a good thing going.