The week of March 20-26 saw former OU forward Blake Griffin make his Brooklyn Nets debut.
And despite rumors he might be moved at Thursday’s trade deadline, former Sooner guard Buddy Hield stayed put in Sacramento. Meanwhile fellow former Oklahoma guard Trae Young continued his torrid shooting. The duo also reacted on Twitter to the retirement of Lon Kruger, their former coach in Norman.
Here’s a look at what Young, Hield and Griffin accomplished last week:
Trae Young (4 games): 23 points per game, 10.8 assists per game, 3.5 rebounds per game
Against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, March 20, Young helped lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 99-94 win with a 14-point and 11-assist double double.
On Monday, March 22, Young finished with 28 points, eight assists and five rebounds in a 119-110 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Young scored 29 points along with nine assists in a two point loss against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, March 24.
Trae hits from DEEP to tie the game. pic.twitter.com/zrIo9ihFoz— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 25, 2021
Young finished the week with a win at Golden State on Friday, March 26, with 21 points and 15 assists.
Over the last three seasons, Trae Young has 57 games with 20+ points and 10+ assists.The only players with more? James Harden and LeBron James (both 58). pic.twitter.com/QN1j1SJTAi— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 27, 2021
Buddy Hield (4 games): 18.5 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, 3.5 assists per game
Hield helped the Sacramento Kings to a 3-1 record during the week with his outside shooting, as he averaged five 3s per game.
Best 3P Catch-And-Shoot Seasons*1. Joe Harris, 2020-21 ...... 52.7 3P%2. JJ Redick, 2015-16 ....... 49.93. Seth Curry, 2019-20 ..... 49.14. Buddy Hield, 2017-18 ... 49.05. Kyle Korver, 2013-14 ..... 48.3*Min. 200 Attempts, since 2013-14 when player tracking began pic.twitter.com/3utwQMVeKR— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) March 20, 2021
On Saturday, March 20, Hield scored 25 points while shooting 7-of-13 from three in a 129-105 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Hield would go on to score 19 points while shooting 5-of-10 from three in a 119-105 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, March 22.
"Buddy Hield, hitting 'em like a stimmy. ... Getting you what you need when you need it."Mark Jones is a legend on the call 😂 pic.twitter.com/PU34CJdl1t— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 23, 2021
Two days later, on March 24, Hield scored 14 points in a close two-point win against the Hawks and fellow OU alumni Young. On Thursday, March 25, Hield helped the Kings score an impressive 141 points in regulation by contributing with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists.
The NBA Trade Deadline came and went with Hield staying put in Sacramento despite rumors circulating around the 28-year-old’s departure if the right offer was made.
Blake Griffin (3 games): 9 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game
Griffin finally made his Nets’ debut and played in three total games for the first time in over a month.
Blake Griffin makes his Nets debut pic.twitter.com/RmVSrCE9bX— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 21, 2021
On Sunday, March 21, Griffin finished with two points, two rebounds and a block in 15 minutes of action against the Washington Wizards in a win.
BlAkE gRiFfIn DoEsNt DuNk AnYmOrE pic.twitter.com/dKjuwyoI7z— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 22, 2021
Blake Griffin with the defense + block on Bradley Beal. 🔐 pic.twitter.com/p6sIyx5L4B— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) March 21, 2021
Griffin had a better performance against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, March 23. In 19 minutes, Griffin finished with eight points and five rebounds off the bench.
Facing his former team, the Detroit Pistons, brought out the best in the 32-year-old. Griffin returned to Detroit on Friday, March 26, in a winning effort that saw him finish with 17 points in 20 minutes off the bench.
Pistons had a tribute video for Blake Griffin on his return to Detroit 🙏 pic.twitter.com/28MTKfYEgg— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) March 26, 2021
HARDEN WITH THE LOB TO BLAKE 😱Griffin with a stare down of the Detroit bench 😳 pic.twitter.com/WjbhI84hQg— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 27, 2021
Reactions to Lon Kruger’s retirement
OU’s men's basketball head coach Lon Kruger announced his retirement Thursday after spending the last 10 seasons coaching the Sooners. He helped shape Young and Hield and both tweeted out their reaction to the news:
I often think to myself what this duo could’ve done with more years together & get sad because I know it would’ve been special. Hall of Fame Career.💯 Good Luck with Retirement Coach @LonKruger ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ly67v6nrbX— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) March 26, 2021
I tell kids/parents all the time “pick the coach you trust/feel that’s telling you the truth!” Thats what I respect most about Coach Kruger. He changed my family’s life for generations. Thru good/bad he never lied to my son. Thank you & God Bless @OU_MBBall pic.twitter.com/vaWYf6PyZN— Ray Young (@rayfordyoung) March 26, 2021
A True Class Act, A Man of Integrity, Honor, High Character and Respect. A Leader, A Teacher and Difference Maker. It was truly an Honor playing for. Thank u for believing in me and helping become the Man and Player I am today. The Game will truly miss u Coach, Happy Retirement pic.twitter.com/GEivix6jFa— Buddy Love !!!! (@buddyhield) March 26, 2021