Earlier this week the Clippers sent shock waves throughout the NBA when they traded their star Blake Griffin to the Pistons. Our old pal Avery Bradley was also a part of the deal and will now be making LA his home after a minor stint in Detroit. The Clippers also received Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick. The Pistons received Willie Reed and Brice Johnson in addition to Griffin. I guess getting a max deal doesn’t mean ****.
Shaking Up the East
The Eastern Conference is already more competitive than it has been in recent years. But this desperate move by the Pistons to save this season has just made it more interesting, and I didn’t even think that was possible. On Tuesday night, they beat the Cavs to end an eight-game losing streak. They now sit in ninth behind the 76ers at 23-26. But I can see them sneaking into the top eight, and here’s why:
- The Wizards are losing John Wall for the next two months due to a knee injury. This means that Beal will have to carry this team the rest of they way. I think it’ll be hard for the Wizards to win enough games to get where they want to be. I mean, they had a hard enough time when they had Wall AND the 4th easiest schedule. Now, they have one of the hardest schedules left and no Wall. Anything can happen.
- Even though the Cavs sit in third, they still have some discord that needs to be harmonized. I know LeBron tried to fix it a bit by picking Kevin Love for his All-Star team, but I.T. is still feeling singled out. In addition, Love is now out with a broken hand for six to eight weeks. Bad luck all around; the Cavs need his scoring, especially since their defense is garbage.
Blake Griffin vs Celtics
When the Cs played the Clippers on January 24th, Blake Griffin had 23 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. His shooting wasn’t up to par, but he still found a way to put points on the board. Fortunately we won that game 113-102, but it wasn’t easy. And make no mistake — Griffin played a role. Now, the Cs must face him again when they play the Pistons on February 23rd. It was already a difficult match up when Detroit didn’t have a 5x All-Star, so imagine how it will be come the 23rd. The Pistons beat the Cs 118-108 in November, but then lost in December 91-81, splitting the series so far. Can a banged up Celtics team take the series from Detroit 2-1? Hopefully by then, everyone will be feeling close to 100% and if we’re lucky maybe Blake Griffin aggravates an old injury. Just saying!
Still Time for Things to Change?
I think the Pistons have caused a minor panic by trading for Griffin. Everyone knows he’s the real deal and can rejuvenate that team, so no one is taking this lightly. The Cavs have been talking about some possible trades, but the one that I heard could be a definite is the George Hill trade. Unfortunately, analysts have said this wouldn’t help their defensive woes, which should be their #1 priority right now. But the Celtics and Danny Ainge NEED to do something with the DPE they received for the Hayward injury. I think they need someone who can come in and be a consistent secondary scorer and who is also top-notch on defense. And they need this someone ASAP.
The East has outdone the West in competition thus far. Fresh faces in the playoff race. Bring it!