Los Angeles Clippers fans, which players do you like the best? The Clippers have two All-Star players in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, so it is understandable if the fans would rate them as their favorite players. With good reason too. There is not much in sports as entertaining as watching Chris Paul lob the ball to Blake Griffin and watching him throw it down on a high flying-rim rattling slam. That’s just good stuff.
But some fans might appreciate those players who don’t get the massive paychecks, but they contribute in other ways. They make the “hustle plays”, such as diving for loose balls, taking a charge, rebounding, being a defensive pest, or knocking down a big shot at a crucial time. These guys are absolutely essential for a team if they want to win. Sometimes these guys become the fan favorites.
Some of the Clippers players that fall into this category are Matt Barnes, Eric Bledsoe, maybe even DeAndre Jordan. They don’t get the ink, but they really make the Clippers a competitive team.
Sometimes, that really good sixth man off the bench gets the fans to stand up in their aisles and cheer when he gives the team a spark. Jamal Crawford would be that guy on the Clippers. Many feel he should have won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year that went to J. R. Smith of the New York Knicks.
Let me tell you who my favorites are. When healthy, one is Chauncey Billups. The Clippers seem to be a better team when he is on the floor. He can shoot the three, he is a leader, and a very smart veteran player. I just wish he could stay on the court more. Injuries have really cut into his effectiveness the last two years. Had he been able to stay healthy, I really believe the Clippers could have gone far in the playoffs. Of course there is Griffin and Paul for obvious reasons. It’s hard not to be a fan of these two guys. They are exciting players, but also just good guys off the court and on. Their commercials are even good.
Another of my favorites is Bledsoe. This guy is going to be a star point guard for some team. If Paul signs with another team, he will make the blow a little less severe when he moves into the starter’s role. If Paul stays a Clipper, he likely moves on when his contract is up after next season and becomes a starter elsewhere. The reason I like him, you never hear him complain about his role or his minutes. He hustles all the time he is on the floor. Also, the team’s play doesn’t drop off when he is in the game. In 20 minutes per game, he averaged nearly nine points, three assists and three rebounds. So figure if he played 40 minutes per game he’d be at 19 points, six assists and six rebounds per game.
Paul averaged 17 points, 10 assists and three rebounds in 33 minutes. So that’s not a large drop off. Also figure if you add those together, that’s 53 minutes, which means Bledsoe and Paul must at times be on the floor at the same time which would cut into Bledsoe’s stats a bit .Also, what other star point guard can get 15 minutes of rest per night? Most star point guards in the NBA play about 36 to 38 minutes per game. Bledsoe allows for Paul to get about an extra four to five minutes rest per game. You know all those last second game winners Paul hits? There’s one of the reasons he can do that.
So those are mine. Who are yours?