A Sizzling Start by the Clippers
There were a lot of questions surrounding the Clippers heading into the new season. How was Doc going to integrate the new pieces? Would Blake be able to step up? What would the team look like without Chris Paul? Well, it’s now time that we evaluate this team without constantly bringing up CP3. This is a new and exciting Clippers roster, and while there are still plenty of questions surrounding the team (they’ve versed two of the worst teams in the NBA); so far this team has been fun as hell. Here’s a few things we’ve noticed so far about the revamped Clippers:
Blake Griffin Is Still Very Good At Basketball
Griffin has re-entered the MVP conversation with his early play this season. In two games he’s averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals. The most surprising element to those 29 points is his shooting from the perimeter; he’s shot 54.5% from three on 11 attempts. Being the focal part of the offense has also increased his usage to 31.9% (27.8% last year). Many were wondering if the front court trio of Gallinari, Griffin and Jordan would have enough spacing. If Griffin’s form from the arc is any indication, then there should be no such worries. Blake is also currently number 1 in the league for Player Impact Estimate (joined by his teammate in Jordan at number 7) showing that he’s quite simply dominating on all ends of the floor. He’s playing like a man with a point to prove and a man who deserves that max money. He also ended Julius Randle’s career in the process:
Doc Was True To His Word
Doc said things would be different after the departure of Chris Paul. So far, from a small sample size, that has been the case: their 3-point shooting is top five in the league, they’re 7th in offensive rating, 1st in defensive rating (but have versed two of the worst offensive teams to start the year) 3rd in assist to turnover ratio, 4th in assists per game and 5th in pace after being 16th last year. Keeping this up for 82 games will be a challenge for Doc and his team but early signs are promising.
DeAndre Jordan Wants That Max Money
This many eats, sleeps and breathes rebounding. He demoralised the Lakers in securing 24 rebounds against them and while he wasn’t as spectacular against the Suns, he still pulled down 13 rebounds. He’s led his team to being 3rd in rebound percentage currently. If he can continue to impact his team on that end of the floor then in 2019, when he becomes an unrestricted free-agent, he’s likely to see a sizeable contract offer come his way.
The Teodosic Injury Put a Sour Note on a Hot Start
Teodosic was one of the reasons why Lob City was still alive and well in LA.
The plantar fascia injury he suffered against the Suns was one of the few lowlights of that game. His injury will force Doc to reshuffle his offense a little as the Euro-star was one of the few X-factors the team has, especially with his passing. He had a significant effect on their pace, being their leading player in that category.
The New Guys Are Fitting in Fine
Patrick Beverley was born to play in Los Angeles and seems to be getting a bit more credit playing in a more high-profile market. He put a severe damper on Lonzo’s debut with his gritty, in-your-face defense.
Sam Dekker, Lou Williams, Willie Reed and even Montrezl Harrell have all had an impact on their new team. The Clippers have lacked depth in the past, now it’s one of their strengths.
Eric Bledsoe May Be Making His Way Back to Clipper Land
I’ll just leave this here:
Kendall Jenner Might End Up Ruining It All