The Brooklyn Nets are definitely one of the favorites to win it all this season, as their star-studded roster is one of the most exciting teams in the NBA. Even though Kyrie Irving is still unavailable, Kevin Durant and James Harden are enough to propel this team to the end. But it's not all about the stars, as the great collection of experienced veterans around them will play a major role, especially in the playoffs. Blake Griffin is one of the guys that could be the X-Factor.
One of the biggest faces in the NBA once upon a time
Nowadays, Blake Griffin is mainly known as a valiant role player that can serve a team well from the 4 & 5 positions, stretch the floor and bring a valuable all-around effort. But it wasn't that long ago that Blake Griffin was a young stud with the Clippers, posterizing everybody around the league on a nightly basis and establishing his place as one of the best young players in the league.
But after numerous injuries, playoff losses, and the trade to Detroit, Blake's career went on a downward spiral, as he never managed to revitalize himself as one of the best power forwards in the NBA. From being a regular All-Star, averaging 20 & 10, and a fan-favorite in of the biggest spotlights in the league, Blake became practically forgotten. The low point was reached last season when the Pistons decided to sit him out until he finds a solution for a way out. The question was raised with his big contract: What will Blake do, and is there any hope of a team taking a chance on him? But then the perfect opportunity would appear.
The Brooklyn Nets Super Team
The Brooklyn Nets would come to a deal with Blake and reach a buyout, as Griffin had to give up a good chunk of his salary to join the Nets. A tough decision, but one that was necessary to revitalize his career and have him playing meaningful basketball again.
Blake would fit in perfectly alongside the superstar trio and play a significant role last season for them, averaging 10.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, and 2.4 apg. Not gaudy numbers, but just enough to fulfill his role. If the Nets managed to stay healthy, Blake could have been on the way to his first championship. In a recent interview with Graham Bensinger, Blake revealed the behind the scene process of him getting to Brooklyn and KD recruiting him with a simple text:
"Once I was figuring out a deal with Detroit, I was kind weighing my options. I've known Kevin and James, and Kyrie for a long time...somebody asked me that who recruited you the hardest? I was just like; I guess Kevin. It's not like he was flying to my house; it wasn't that type of recruitment. It was just like: Hey, come bring your ass to Brooklyn, let's try to make a run at this thing. When a player of his caliber says something like that, it means something."
Blake Griffin, ">Graham Bensinger
What's next for Blake and the Nets?
Well, this season hasn't stripped the Brookly Nets short of drama, as the Kyrie Irving saga is still one of the main headlines in the NBA world. But even without Irving, the Nets have a stacked team with Durant and Harden, supported by a bunch of support players like Blake, Aldridge, Millsap, Harris, Mills, etc.
At 5-3, the Nets have had a solid start to the season, but the room for improvement is evident. Durant is on his level, but Harden and Blake have struggled to start the season. If and when Kyrie comes back and a couple of their core player find a groove, the Nets will be a force to reckon with in the entire league. Hopefully, they get a chance to play at their full strength.