Detroit — The sea of blue shirts stretched across Little Caesars Arena and the for fans who arrived early, the anticipation of the Pistons’ first home playoff game in three years started to swell on Saturday night.
It picked up a little more when Blake Griffin took the court for pregame warmups and went through his normal routine about 90 minutes before the start of Game 3 in the first-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The anticipation reached a crescendo when the video board showed the Pistons preparing to run out on the court and Griffin was among them. He was listed as a starter, along with Reggie Jackson, Wayne Ellington, Luke Kennard and Thon Maker.
Griffin, who hasn’t played since the first half of the penultimate regular-season game against the Memphis Grizzlies, has had 11 days to rest and could send a jolt through the home crowd if he is able to rejoin the starting lineup.
The Pistons are in a 2-0 hole in the best-of-seven series and would be in a tough spot if they fall again. The Bucks dominated the first two games, by 35 and 21 points, respectively, but the Pistons showed a spark in the second quarter of Game 2 and had a lead at halftime.
“We’ll find out. He’s going to go through warmups and find out what he’s going to do right before the game,” coach Dwane Casey said. “It’s tenuous as far as his knee is concerned. He’s feeling much, much better and we’ll go from there.
“He’s been doing a heck of a lot of rehab and work with his knee, as have other players.”