As the Boston Celtics coasted to a 133-118 victory against the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden, one player made his starting debut for the team on Saturday night: Blake Griffin.
Griffin was inserted into the starting lineup to replace Al Horford, who was sitting out of the second game of a back-to-back due to lower back tightness after playing for 33 minutes in Friday’s 123-119 victory against the Chicago Bulls.
In 15 minutes of action, Griffin delivered. He finished with a stat-line of seven points, two assists, and a rebound while having a plus/minus rating of +6 when on the court.
Griffin did well in being efficient with his shooting from the field. He made three of his four attempts, including one 3-pointer from the corner.
He also had great pick-and-roll action with Marcus Smart, who made a brilliant pass inside the paint to get him the layup.
The Boston Celtics previously had no meaningful role for Blake Griffin
The Boston Celtics have been using the 33-year-old veteran sparingly this season. Playing in five out of nine games, Blake Griffin is averaging 3.4 points and 2.4 rebounds for 10 minutes per game. His 15 minutes against New York is a season-high for him, surpassing the 12 minutes he had in his prior appearance against Cleveland on Oct. 28, where he also scored seven points.
While it should not be expected for Griffin to consistently play a lot of minutes throughout the season, as long as he is capable of being active on both sides of the court, the Celtics will continue to use him.
In the situation Al Horford sits out for a couple of games due to the number of back-to-backs on their schedule, the Celtics can look at Griffin as a reliable option who can step up to the plate when needed.