He didn’t produce as much as he did against the Toronto Raptors in the Clippers’ second game (he tallied 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting, eight rebounds and five assists), but still had 13 points, three rebounds and two assists with 5-of-9 shooting. In only 20 minutes, Griffin did what he could.
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More to the point, he looked healthy — fully healthy. He was explosive and moved as well as fans could hope for, further reiterating just how emphatic his comeback season can be in 2016-17.
As this comeback effort has got underway at the earliest stages of the season, Doc Rivers has had some high praise for what Griffin has done so far.
“It’s amazing how well he’s playing and moving,” Doc said before Monday’s game, per Rowan Kavner of Clippers.com. “It’s like he didn’t miss last year. For a lot of guys, it takes a while. You come back. He’s been amazing to me.”
“Amazing” is certainly high praise, but it seems appropriate for how Griffin has moved on the court and some of his play after struggling with so much injury last season and being limited for months.
Griffin made a pair of threes against the Raptors to showcase his improved shot mechanics (which you can read about in full detail here), and was yet again playing with power in the post against Utah, executing an emphatic spin move past Boris Diaw and using his strength and touch that we didn’t see in a tentative, injured return for last season’s playoffs.
So far, this return has been exactly what fans could have hoped for. Improved three-point range makes it that much better, and Doc is right to be amazed with everything he’s done — both technically and physically — so far.