When former NBA all-star Blake Griffin came into the league with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2009, he was known for ferocious high-flying dunks that instantly went viral on YouTube and basketball Twitter. Now, after 12 seasons and joining the Brooklyn Nets, Griffin is a shell of his former self athletically and sportsbooks are speculating if he will even dunk again.
Online sportsbooks have taken notice that Griffin hasn’t dunked in an NBA game since December 2019 but they think he’ll eventually break that streak with the Nets. They’ve listed Blake Griffin dunk odds with “Yes” at -500 (83.3 percent implied probability). The “No” option of him not being able to complete a dunk with the Nets this season comes back at +300, which feels like terrible odds given the variables I’ll detail below.
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Will Blake Griffin Dunk This Season?
Odds as of March 11 at Sportsbook
December 12, 2019. That’s how long it’s been since Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin has dunked a basketball in an NBA game. Some NBA players wait a lifetime to finally showcase their hops and slam one home in a game, but for Griffin, dunking was in his DNA, especially earlier in his career.
A quick search on YouTube for Blake Griffin dunks will yield a fantastic barrage of epic highlights. Some uploaders even took the time to splice the clips with Kanye West’s “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2”, which is always a treat. Those dunk memories over the likes of Danilo Gallinari, Kendrick Perkins and Pau Gasol feel like a lifetime ago, especially when you look back over Griffin’s last two-plus seasons with the Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons and their roster have been a mess for longer than Griffin’s tenure but unfortunately for him, his health and Detroit’s front-office competence both seemed to tank at the same time. Griffin had multiple surgeries on his body prior to arriving in Detroit and then suffered another knee injury near the end of the season before the 2019 playoffs.
He still returned to play in two playoff games vs the Bucks in 2019 but required offseason knee surgery once they got swept. After that surgery, the Pistons started tearing apart the roster that went 41-41 and was the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Blake went on to miss the first 10 games of the 2019-20 season, played 18 regular-season games and then had another knee surgery in January 2020 that sidelined him for the remainder of the year that finished in the Orlando bubble. With their top player sidelined, Detroit blew up the roster and traded away center Andre Drummond and guard Reggie Jackson, the Pistons’ top two leading scorers behind Griffin.
The reason I bring up those factors in discussing Blake Griffin dunk odds is that he was essentially set up to fail in Detroit. Bad injury luck aside, as the best player on a team that had virtually no other talent to fall back on, it put Blake in a position where he had to be more of a facilitator to spark the offense. That meant he wasn’t crashing the boards like he used to with the Clippers. It isn’t simply the injuries to his knees that has limited his capability to dunk in an NBA game.
I think I can safely speak for Blake Griffin in vouching that he can still dunk a basketball. That’s not up for debate here. That’s why I think the -500 odds of him even attempting to dunk this season is free money because of the amount of space he’ll have on the court to operate. This will be the first time in his basketball career (outside of all-star games) when he’s maybe the fourth-best player on his team.
That lack of pressure and attention from opposing defenses focusing instead on the likes of James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant should give Griffin wide-open lanes to glide to the hoop. Take the Yes, wait it out, and laugh all the way to the bank when he eventually stuffs home a dunk while nobody is guarding him because the opposing forward/center has gone out to trap Harden or Irving on the perimeter.