Marcus Smart has never been one to shy away from saying how he feels and he continued that this weekend with his thoughts on the Boston Celtics addition of veteran forward Blake Griffin via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.
Marcus Smart on Blake Griffin:
"Love it…He’s not above the rim anymore, but he still does great things…Last year he led the league in charges taken. For a guy that doesn’t play as much, that speaks volumes…It’s a great vet for some of these young guys to listen to."
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) October 1, 2022
Griffin is four years removed from his last All-Star appearance during the 2018-2019 season when he played in 75 games and led he Detroit Pistons to the playoffs averaging 24.5 points per game, 7.5 rebounds, 5.4 assists and shooting 46.2 percent from the field.
His numbers have dropped in the year since but he still can be a serviceable player as Smart stated. He may not be the high-flying, above the rim menace that he was with the Los Angles Clippers when he made five consecutive All-Star teams, but he can contribute in different ways.
As Smart mentioned, Griffin led the NBA in charges drawn last season with 26. Last season with the Brooklyn Nets, Griffin played a career-low 17.1 minutes per game over 56 games and still managed to be the league’s top player at taking charges.
He’s also been able to develop an outside shot to make himself more effective offensively even though he only shot 26.2 percent from three-point range last season. During the 2020-2021 season when he first signed with the Nets, he shot 38.3 percent from distance over the course of 26 games including ten starts.
It’s clear the Celtics are not expecting anything major from Blake Griffin. It’s just as Smart said, all they’ll need from him is that veteran presence and leadership he can bring at this point in his career.