The Detroit Pistons are in the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2016, and they have a daunting task ahead of them. Their opponent is the Milwaukee Bucks, who were a league best 60-22 in the regular season and feature one of the top players in the game in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The most pressing question for the Pistons is the health status of Blake Griffin, who has been hampered by a nagging knee injury. He missed Detroit’s final regular season game against the Knicks, and also missed three games from March 30 to April 3.
“We’re taking this day by day,” Griffin said. “I’m not looking forward to a day that’s not here right now in front of me. I’ll sit with our training staff and whoever else needs to be in on that decision and make that each day.”
The Pistons haven’t given any official indication as to the status of Griffin for Game 1, which is Sunday at 7:00 PM. Griffin, however, gave a bit of insight as to how practice has gone the past two days as the team prepares for the Bucks.
“I’m just preparing, doing everything our training staff asks of me, just making sure we’re all locked in, making sure our walk-throughs and everything we need to be locked in for these games is going smoothly,” Griffin said.
Would he have been able to play had the game been Saturday instead of Sunday?
“It’s not tonight,” Griffin replied.
“You never want to let your teammates down and not be out there, but at the same we’ve built a foundation this season,” he continued. “We started to play the right brand of basketball. Those types of things carry over and help take care of business. Ultimately, the goal is to get in the playoffs. We accomplished that goal, so at the end of the day we’re right where we want to be.”
According to Griffin, being in the playoffs means growth for the team, especially for the younger players who haven’t experienced it yet.
“It’s a different brand of basketball,” Griffin said. “I think there’s a different level of mental attitude you have to have. There’s a different level of concentration you have to go to. I think it’s good for guys, especially the young guys, for Khyri (Thomas), Bruce (Brown), to be rookies and be in the playoffs and have that experience. We want every rookie class to come in here for the next however many years and experience that.”