Detroit's frigid temperatures on a Thursday night typically left thousands of red seats empty at Little Caesars Arena. But on this 15 degree weather night, against an NBA team below .500, more than 17,000 fans packed LCA for Blake Griffin's highly anticipated debut with the Detroit Pistons.
Fans are more than excited to have the 5-time NBA Allstar in the Motor City. After being acquired from the LA Clippers on Monday, Griffins number 23 jersey had completely SOLD OUT of the Pistons team store within minutes of doors opening - before Tuesday's game.
The energy inside Little Caesars Arena was electric. At the start of Thursdays game, Pistons fans welcomed Blake Griffin with a standing ovation after P.A. announcer John Mason's team introduction. Throughout the game fans were chanting, "We want Blake", every time Griffin sat on the bench for rest. "They were awesome, says Griffin. "You could feel the energy tonight and it was the big boost for us and a big boost for me."
Blake and 'Dre
Before Griffins first game, fans were wondering how long it'll take before Blake and Andre to play well together. Both combined for 38 points, 25 rebounds, 9 Assist, 3 blocks and 1 lob dunk.
After the game Griffin says, "I just wanted to come out and play hard, being very limited in my knowledge of our offense. I thought Coach Van Gundy did a great job of putting in five things we could go to, and we ran them to death, but they worked and everybody just played hard"
Griffin is the first Piston to record 20-plus points, 10-plus rebounds, and 5-plus assist in their debut with Detroit since Grant Hill (25 point, 10 rebounds, and five assist) in 1994.
Playoffs? Count on it.