Dwane Casey looks to ‘expand’ Blake Griffin’s game
The Detroit Pistons have found a new head coach in the form of former Toronto Raptors mentor Dwane Casey. Now, the focus is on how Casey will be able to transform the Pistons into a perennial contender in the East just like what he did with that team north of the border. Casey has also given a glimpse of what to expect in Detroit in his first season as the team’s bench boss, and it primarily concerns versatile forward Blake Griffin.
During an appearance on ESPN Radio’s Stephen A. Smith Show, Casey said that he intends to pattern Griffin’s game after Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan in terms of giving him more freedom to jack up shots from downtown, which is seemingly what everyone is doing these days (h/t Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN).
Casey said on ESPN Radio’s Stephen A. Smith Show that keeping Griffin healthy needs to be one of the Pistons’ top priorities. He also said he plans to expand Griffin’s responsibilities.
“We’re going to empower him to expand his game, a lot like DeMar DeRozan in Toronto,” he said. “Expand his game out to the 3-point line, have some point-forward responsibilities with the basketball out on the floor bringing it down. Because he’s more than just a back-down, post-up player.”
Last season, DeRozan made a career-high 1.1 triples per game on 3.6 attempts – also a career-most, which helped the Raptors improve greatly as a team on offense, as stretching the floor worked wonders for Toronto.
Griffin, on the other hand, also has a touch from distance, but based on Casey’s initial plan, it looks like it’s going to be expected for the hybrid forward to shoot more 3-pointers beginning next season.
In 58 games last season split between the Pistons and the L.A. Clippers, Griffin averaged 19.8 points and 6.6 rebounds while shooting 34.8 percent from deep.