Pistons’ Blake Griffin could return to action vs. Thunder on Friday
Detroit Free Press Pistons beat writer Vincent Ellis broke the news on Twitter on Wednesday.
Spoke with a couple #Pistons sources over last few days who say there’s a solid chance Blake Griffin plays Friday at OKC, but raised possibility that they could just go all in for final three games. Strong sense he will return at some point this weekend.
— Vince_Ells56 (@Vincent_Ellis56) April 4, 2019
The high-flying Griffin has missed the past three games for the Pistons (including a home-and-home series against the Indiana Pacers) due to left knee soreness. He took the floor for warmups prior to Detroit’s 99-90 home win over the Portland Trail Blazers on March 30. However, Griffin trusted his instincts and decided to sit it out.
Pistons center Andre Drummond told The Detroit Free Press’ Dana Gauruder after the game he and his teammates felt Griffin’s absence on the court.
Not having Blake, definitely he was missed, especially early on in the first half. We couldn’t get it going. We needed him to will us offensively, to get us all going, but we found a way in that second half and made it work.
Without Griffin, the Pistons lost the home-and-home series against the Pacers to fall to 39-39 (.500) on the season. Detroit currently owns the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons are involved in a tight race for playoff positioning with the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic, who both sport identical 39-40 (.494) win-loss records.
On that note, Detroit needs Griffin more than ever. With just four games left to play in the regular season, every possession counts. The Pistons are 1-5 (.167) without Griffin in the 2018-19 NBA season.
Should the current playoff seedings prevail, the third-seeded Philadelphia 76ers (49-29) will host the Pistons in the best-of-seven first round series.
The 30-year-old Griffin, a nine-year veteran and six-time NBA All-Star, has been averaging 24.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists in 72 games for Detroit this season.