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Pistons HC Dwane Casey looking to exploit Blake Griffin’s passing abilities

Dwane Casey Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is no longer the high-flying dunk artist he was once upon breaking into the league. Neither is he the long-striding, fast-breaking, alley-oop catching machine that made many fall in love with Lob City.

Now dissolved, with the trio of Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Griffin all in different places, the latter will have a fresh start, gearing up for training camp with a new coach, new teammates and a new vision.

Dwane Casey, who was fired by the Toronto Raptors after yet another sweep at the hands of LeBron James, quickly got back into a coaching job, agreeing to become the helmsman for the Detroit Pistons. This time around, Casey will have to form a partnership with Griffin, one that will start by making use of one of his skills that often go unnoticed — his passing.

“My goal for him is to be the best passing power forward in the league, which he can do,” Casey said, according to Michael Pina of Vice Sports. “People look at Draymond Green, they look at all these other guys — point-fives and point-fours. Blake can be a prototypical point-four because he’s very intelligent, he has great passing skills. What’d he average last year? 6.5 assists per game with the Pistons? There are a lot of ways to measure success beyond just points, and Blake has the ability to do that.”

Griffin is still a top-notch scorer and a decent rebounder for his position, something that has recently declined as he opted to step outside more often in hopes to extend his career.

Yet his passing is the singular attribute that has remained steady in the past four seasons, averaging close to five assists per game in each of his last four years in the league.

His awareness of double teams, as well as defensive rotation schemes, is a valuable skill that Casey can look to exploit, as the Pistons have made a concerted effort to surround him with capable shooters.

If Casey can get Griffin to dance at his rhythm, it won’t be long before the big man starts getting All-Star recognition once again, which should come naturally as the wins pile up under this new regime.