The Pistons big man averaged a career-high 24.5 points to go along with 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists over 35 minutes per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the floor, 36.2 percent from three-point range and 75.3 percent from the free-throw line.
Unfortunately, a late-season knee injury knocked him out of the first two games of the Pistons’ first-round loss at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, so we didn’t get to see a healthy Griffin in the playoffs (again).
But when he was on the floor, he was terrific.
So, with the 2019-20 NBA campaign about to begin, here are three numbers for Griffin to target:
3. Shoot 50 Percent from the Floor
This one might be slightly difficult for Griffin to achieve, as his offensive repertoire is entirely different now than it was during the early day of his career.
Once almost strictly a dunker and around-the-basket scorer, Griffin has developed into one of the game’s most lethal three-point shooting bigs, and he actually attempted seven triples per game last year.
As a result, his overall field-goal percentage dipped.
So long as Griffin continues making his threes, that won’t be too big of a problem, but it would be nice for Griffin to shoot at or around 50 percent from the field rather than the 46.2 percent he shot in 2018-19.
If he is able to do that, he’ll be even more unstoppable.
2. 22 Points Per Game
Hopefully for Griffin, the Pistons will have a bit more offense this season so he doesn’t have to score 24-25 every night.
Detroit’s offense will be far from elite, but perhaps Luke Kennard will show some improvement, and having Derrick Rose as a bench scorer should be somewhat helpful.
As a result, Griffin should be targeting 22 points per game, which is right around his career average of 21.9.
It would be nice for Griffin to not have to play 35 minutes a night and exhaust himself to the point where he risks injury again. The 30-year-old hadn’t averaged 35 minutes per game since 2014-15, so hopefully for his sake, he won’t have to do it again this year.
Assuming Blake’s minutes decrease a bit and other scorers step up, look for the veteran to be more around 21-22 points per game in 2019-20.
1. 75 Games
Griffin actually did play in 75 games last season and appeared to be on his way to his first fully healthy campaign since 2013-14 until that knee injury surfaced in April.
He ultimately underwent surgery to repair the issue, but by now, we know the deal with Griffin.
The six-time All-Star has played 67, 35, 61, 58 and 75 contests, respectively, over the last five years due to a myriad of issues, but the main problem with Griffin has always been his knees.
Given that he relied so much on his athleticism and explosiveness early on in his career, all of that violent jumping and landing surely took a toll on Griffin’s legs.
He has gotten to the point now where he has a heck of a lot more skill than he did five or six years ago, but the damage has already been done.
Here’s to hoping that Griffin has a healthy 2019-20 campaign.