• Nick Diesing-Fay

Top 5 Players in the Rockets and Clippers Series

Blake Harden getty.jpg

*Photo via Getty Images

This is a ranking of the top five players in the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers series. This ranking is based off their current play, not their body of work.

*I'm excluding Chris Paul due to the fact he is injured and has played limited minutes in the series.

1.Blake Griffin- Griffin is arguably having the best postseason in the NBA right now. He has filled up stat sheets on the “regular” and even grabbed a few triple-doubles. It is clear Griffin elevated his game to another level. At times in this series Griffin has seemed unstoppable, scoring on whoever the Rockets sent his way. No matter if it is Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, or Terrence Jones, they all seem outmatched by Griffin. Even when Griffin is double teamed he has shown the ability to locate the open man, averaging over seven assist in the postseason. It doesn't stop there, Griffin has been a monster on the boards, grabbing double-digit boards every game this series.

2.James Harden- Harden has not been the MVP runner-up we have been accustomed to all season. Still Harden is still displaying his talents in this series just less consistently. One reason, he hasn't been able to score as many points in the paint, somewhere he racked up points all season. He can thank the Clippers’ D’ and the impact of DeAndre Jordan for that.

The Rockets really need Harden to take over like he did in the fourth quarter of Game 2. This is when Harden scored 16 points in the fourth quarter. It also was the game, Harden went to the free-throw line 15 times, a place Harden spent a lot of time this season. In the other two games, Harden combined for 11 free-throws attempts, not the amount you want to see from Harden if you are a Rockets fan.

3.DeAndre Jordan- The impact Jordan has on the game is not picked up by the stat sheet. His presence is constantly felt on the court. He has made every Rockets player think twice about attacking the rim, including Dwight Howard. And even though Jordan is limited offensively, he still needs a body on him at all times because of his alley-oop capabilities. Give him a step, next thing you know he is finishing an alley-oop for Sportscenter's' Top 10. Jordan also has had his impact on the boards, on offense and defense.

The biggest critique of Jordan is his poor free-throw shooting, at times it forces Doc Rivers to take him off the floor. But even with the free-throw struggles Jordan has a plus-minus of plus 58 for the series, so yeah he has had his impact.

4.Dwight Howard- Howard has had his difficulties with DeAndre Jordan , so he hasn’t been quite as impactful as the previous series. Still, he has made his presence felt on the floor, it just is more apparent when DeAndre Jordan is off the floor. Speaking of Jordan, Dwight has had a similar impact; erasing shots, finishing alley oops and not being able to shoot free-throws.

This match-up is unlike most for Howard, usually he goes up against a center that can’t match-up with him physically and/or athletically. Not the case here, Jordan can matchup with him, and even outmatches him in those areas. So everything has required a lot more effort from Howard than usual and you can see some frustration .

5.J.J. Redick- This was a tough choice, but I feel Redick has really given the Clippers another scoring option. Redick ability to shoot the ball and keep the defense honest. No matter if he is just spacing the floor or coming off a screen, regardless the defense needs to know where he is. His three point shooting this series hasn’t been too bad either, shooting 10 of 19 from behind the arc.

Redick didn’t only make this list for his scoring ability, but the effort he has put into defending James Harden. We know Redick isn’t the most gifted player athletically, but has used great positioning and effort to make James Harden’s life that much harder.

#NBA #ClippersRockets #Top5