Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks wasn't surprised by seeing Blake Griffin dunking against the Boston Celtics in Game 2. Griffin, who signed with the Nets in February after agreeing on a buyout with the Detroit Pistons, started trending on Tuesday night after two thunderous dunks against the Celtics.
"He'd be the first to tell you he won't be jumping over a car anytime soon," Marks told ESPN. "But I think it's pretty clear for pretty much anyone just watching him play, he's feeling good.
"I honestly think it's almost, day by day, he keeps getting better and better and better." Griffin was ready to play at the start of the season but it took him time to get into his old shape and rhythm. Griffin didn't have a single dunk this season with the Pistons but that changed after signing with the Nets.
In 28 games since joining the Nets, Griffin has had 19 dunks. "It was definitely a hurried-up schedule," Griffin's manager Taylor Griffin said. "And I think we saw that a lot of guys just needed a little bit more time to get all the way back to game shape.
"He had already sat out so much of the previous year, there was no chance he'd sit out [the start of this season]. ... His knee was 100% healthy, but there's a difference in your body being healthy and being ready to play NBA level minutes every night."
Griffin underwent two knee surgeries
The first knee surgery that Griffin underwent in April 2019 didn't fully clean the damage so he decided to undergo a second procedure. "He didn't get as clean the first time as we would have hoped," Taylor Griffin said.
"He always felt like there was something still off that whole time he was trying to play last season. "But it was like night and day after the second procedure [in January 2020]." The Nets elected to take a careful approach with Griffin.
"We were going to take our time with him," Marks said. "Just to make sure we weren't pushing him too far, too fast, too early and so forth. "We knew what we were getting in terms of veteran and high-IQ player.
So it was about being able to maximize what he's got left, career-wise. And from the first day we got him, we could see, 'OK, there's some more there.' "