Healthy Blake Griffin ‘looking good’ as Pistons training camp gets into full gear

Detroit News

Rod Beard
| The Detroit News

Blake Griffin is all good to go.

That may not seem like much, but for the Pistons, that’s some of the best news they could get as they ramp up training camp and prepare for the start of the preseason schedule on Friday.

Griffin, who missed the first 10 games last season because of lingering knee issues, isn’t having any problems this season. 

“He hasn’t taken a play, a possession or a drill off yet. He’s looking good. All the guys are getting their sea legs under them after being off for so long, but he’s the Blake of old, making plays and fitting in seamlessly,” coach Dwane Casey said Monday via teleconference. “He did a lot of work this summer to strengthen his legs and he’s done that. He’s back to being the Blake of old.

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“We’re excited about that. I had known that he had been putting in the work with all the naysayers. He’s done a good job the last couple of days in 5-on-5.”

It was a frustrating season for Griffin, who played just 18 games before shutting things down because of recurring knee issues. He posted subpar numbers for his career: 15.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists and shot a miserable 24 percent on 3-pointers. More than that, he didn’t have much lift off his knee, but all that looks to be in the past.

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Along with Griffin, the Pistons also are getting good signs from Derrick Rose, who isn’t showing any signs of wear or injury. Rose, 32, has been working throughout the summer and has an additional job this season of mentoring rookie point guard Killian Hayes.

He’s off to a good start.

“Derrick has been going two-a-days with his personal trainer throughout the pandemic. He has not missed a possession (in training camp),” Casey said. “Tonight, we’re going into night practices and both guys are a go.

“That’s the exciting part, that you have those two players that are back and contributing with the younger group, also, so it’s a good mixture.”

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

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