NBA

Detroit Pistons vs. Los Angeles Clippers Free NBA Pick

Saturday, January 12 at 3:30 PM ET

STAPLES Center

Coverage: NBATV

Nearly a year after being traded, Blake Griffin will face his former team, the Clippers, when the Pistons travel to Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon.

 

Blake Griffin reinvents himself
On January 29, 2018 the Clippers traded Blake Griffin, Brice Johnson, Willie Reed and a second-round pick to the Pistons for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a first-round pick and a second-round pick.

NBA fans all over the world still can't believe that the Clippers traded the cornerstone of the team, including me. Not only was he the face of the franchise but he brought it to relevancy and into contention.

This will be Blake Griffin's first game against the Clippers at Staples Center. Griffin already faced them once, shortly after the trade last season, but playing in front of his former fans will make it an extremely emotional night for him and it will be interesting to see how all parties involved will act, especially after the recent news that Griffin still hasn't spoken to Doc Rivers nor members of the Clippers front office since being traded.

Some of his pre-game jitters may also be gone, as he just played in Staples Center for the first time since the trade in Wednesday's 113-100 loss against the Lakers, scoring 16 points and failing to grab a rebound for the first time in 567 games over his seven-year career.

Still, Griffin is averaging a career-high 25.1 points, to go along with 8.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 38 games but his ability to make 3-pointers has been surprising. Griffin is attempting a career-high 6.4 3-pointers per game and shooting a respectable 36.2 percent. It's clear that he knew he had to change his game at this stage of his career and he worked hard to make it happen.

Despite Griffin's individual success, the Pistons are just 17-23, outside of the current playoff picture in a weak Eastern Conference and while reaching the playoffs is possible, is more than likely that this team will not move past the first round.

 

Clippers benefitted from trading Griffin
The Clippers saw an opportunity to shake things up in the Blake Griffin trade and they went for it. They got a young player who's trended upward in Tobias Harris, a first-round pick in a loaded draft and two solid role players in Avery Bradley and Boban Marjanovic.

Harris, Bradley and Marjanovic have contributed in different ways to help the Clippers go 24-17, good enough for fifth place in a loaded Western Conference, which is very impressive because no one expected them to even make the playoffs.

The most interesting player on this trade is Tobias Harris, who could make his first All-Star Game this season. Harris is putting up career numbers with 21.0 points, 8.o rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 42.7 percent from 3-point range in 41 games and he can get better as the years pass.

NBA Trends:

The Detroit Pistons are:

11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 games against Pacific Division opponents

The Los Angeles Clippers are:

2-7 ATS in their last nine games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points

There will be a lot of emotion when Blake Griffin enters Staples Center on Saturday. Griffin did a lot for the Clippers and him being moved has done a lot for the franchise as well. The trade stung him and Clippers fans alike but Los Angeles won it. The Pistons won the trade too but in a different, as they got a superstar to help sell tickets in their new arena and on Saturday I really like them to keep this game close and it wouldn't surprise me if they beat the Clippers behind a big game from Griffin.

NBA Pick: Pistons at Jazz Sports

Check odds here: http://bit.ly/2RMxhhA

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