Will Blake Griffin Do a Number on His Former Clippers?

blake griffin

Jason Lake

Friday, February 9, 2018 1:20 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 1:20 PM UTC

The Los Angeles Clippers may be a better basketball pick without Blake Griffin, but he might make them pay Friday night when the Clippers visit Griffin's Detroit Pistons.

Los Angeles Clippers at Detroit PistonsFree NBA Pick: Under 217.5Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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These are interesting times for the Detroit Pistons. They’ve won four straight games since acquiring Blake Griffin from the Los Angeles Clippers – but only at 1-3 ATS. Same old, same old for Mr. Griffin. The Clippers, meanwhile, are 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS since trading their superstar to Detroit. I guess we can’t claim “small sample size” for Los Angeles without doing the same for the Pistons. Fair enough.

In theory, the Clippers should be an even better NBA pick when they visit the Pistons on Friday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). But this will be Griffin’s first game against his former club, and he probably feels a bit salty after they promised him the moon and the stars to get his name on the dotted line last summer. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Griffin drops the hammer on them Friday. Indeed, the Pistons have already moved up from –3 to –3.5 on the NBA odds board as we go to press.

Of Course, You Realize, This Means War

It isn’t too often a player of Griffin’s caliber changes teams, let alone in the middle of the season. But I’m reminded somewhat of the 2003-04 campaign, and the trade that sent Rasheed Wallace from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Pistons – after one game in between with the Atlanta Hawks. Wallace didn’t erupt in his first game against Portland, but he did put up 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks in an 83-68 victory to cash Detroit in as a 1.5-point road fave.

That’s all I’ve got. I mean, Pau Gasol got traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007-08, but Gasol isn’t the salty type. And there was the 2010-11 Carmelo Anthony trade from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks, but he didn’t get to face Denver until the following season. We just don’t have enough data to back up any claim that Friday will be a revenge game for Griffin. But it sure feels that way, doesn’t it?

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Detroit Pistons' Blake Griffin won't be 'buddy-buddy' vs. L.A. Clippers https://t.co/DWaydZ1mfB via @freep

— Chris Thomas (@ByChrisThomas) February 9, 2018

Let’s take another route and put the UNDER in our picks. There’s a nice fat total of 217.5 on the board at press time, up from 217 at the open. The UNDER is only 1-3 since Griffin’s arrival in Motown, but it’s 3-0 for the Clippers since his departure. And Detroit will presumably be a little short-handed Friday after its moves at Thursday’s trade deadline. Veteran PG Jameer Nelson (minus-3.7 BPM) and SF James Ennis (minus-0.1 BPM) have to clear team physicals and all that other red tape before they can help the Pistons – who are already on a tight eight-man rotation as it is. We’ll buy that for a dollar.

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