In a battle of early Western Conference favorites, the Los Angeles Clippers defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 111 to 103. Here is how the Clippers players faired, led by Blake Griffin’s 22 point outing.
Chris Paul – A
14 points, 7 rebounds, 16 assists, 3 steals
Though his shooting was off, CP played as good a game as you’d ask from a point guard. From start to finish, his passing was masterful. For the first time in his career (and for the first time since Magic Johnson in 1990-91), Paul has posted a double-double in the first nine games of his career. Not too shabby.
J.J. Redick – B-
15 points (2-5 from three), 2 rebounds, 2 assists
Redick’s nights are starting to become the norm. After a while you just start to appreciate what he brings to this team as a player.
Jared Dudley – C+
10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
Instead of looking at Dudley’s numbers, I’m going to start using the eye test to judge him as a player. He was solid tonight as he had to guard Kevin Durant. Offensively he did all that’s asked of him.
Blake Griffin – A+
22 points (6-9 FT), 12 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals
You know that leap that we are all praising Paul George for? Blake Griffin is hitting that groove. The Doc Rivers effect on him is exactly what he needed as a player. His impact was felt on both sides of the floor. Once the jumper starts falling we may be looking at the best power forward in the game.
DeAndre Jordan – B
15 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Not often does DAJ vastly outplays his opposite at center. Sure Steven Adams is a rookie, but it’s a good look for Jordan to impose his will. Bad free-throw shooting kept him out the game in the final minutes.
Jamal Crawford – B
20 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals
Crawford continues his streak of being a great reserve. It’s early, but JC has to be leading all rankings for Sixth Man of the Year. When the starters go out Crawford has done a good job of keeping things close.
He also provided us with his nightly highlight, the victim being the young Jeremy Lamb.
Matt Barnes – D
Matt Barnes play wasn’t spectacular (went 0-5 from the field in seven minutes), but him getting Serge Ibaka ejected changed the entire outlook of the game. He’s gotta get a grade for that if anything.
Barnes felt some type of way after being ejected from the game. I guess he regretted his words since he deleted the tweet.
Darren Collison – B
8 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals
Tonight’s play is what fans expected from Collison. He isn’t a good defender or great offensive player, but the effort has produced positive results. Basically he’s inching closer and closer to the guy we saw in the preseason. Maybe Doc putting him off-ball alongside Chris Paul makes him more of an effective player.
Ryan Hollins – C
4 points, 1 rebound
The reserve big-men for the Clippers have been so bad that tonight’s play from Hollins is an improvement. The good news is that Ryan wasn’t terrible. The bad news is that the Clippers still expect key minutes from Ryan Hollins.
Reggie Bullock – C
2 points, 3 rebounds
You can’t expect much from an under-sized rookie guard expecting to come in and guard Kevin Durant. It wasn’t a bloodshed which is good for Reggie. Defensively he’s shown positive instincts. All he’s waiting on now is more consistent playing time (could come with a possible Barnes suspension) and for his offense to catch up with the rest of his game.
Byron Mullens – D
1 point, 4 rebounds
Four rebounds from Mullens is enough to ignore that he was bad in all other areas of the game.
Willie Green – INCOMPLETE
The Barnes ejection was thought to have opened the door for Green to play tonight despite his struggles from the past week, but it seems that Doc Rivers has given his minutes to the rookie.