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NBA End-of-Season Awards: Clippers Edition
Posted By Taylor Smith On Apr 20 2011 @ 12:55 pm In Los Angeles Clippers | No Comments
The NBA playoffs are already in full swing, but that doesn’t mean that the Clippers are completely out of mind.
We’ll have a full season recap coming down in the near future, but for now, let’s talk a little bit about which individual Clippers stood above the rest.
Pretty obvious choice here, eh?
The budding superstar rookie led the team in both scoring (22.5) and rebounding (12.1), and has nearly single-handedly turned the little Clippers into one of the league’s most popular and hottest-selling tickets.
Griffin essentially established himself as the Clips’ primary option on offense right from day one, and, along with fellow youngster Eric Gordon, gives the franchise a pair of top-tier cornerstones for the future.
Plus, he’s a pretty good dunker, I hear.
Jordan entered the season as the backup center to All-Star Chris Kaman, but got his opportunity early on when Kaman struggled through a rash of injuries that eventually forced him to miss a total of 50 games this season.
Griffin’s dunk reel obviously drew the majority of the attention, but Jordan has begun to compile a pretty nice repertoire of his own jaw-dropping smashes.
He’s still got a ways to go in terms of developing a reliable offensive game, but he looks like a guy already capable of having a major effect on the game at the defensive end.
He averaged a team-best 1.8 blocks per game and ranked second in rebounding, pulling down 7.2 boards a night.
Jordan’s emergence will make things interesting once free agency begins, as he’s set to become a restricted free agent. With Kaman’s contract set to expire after next season,
Diogu was signed off the street as a fill-in once reserve forward Craig Smith got hurt in mid-December. There weren’t high expectations for what his impact would be, but he wound up playing like a guy that deserves to be on an NBA roster full-time.
His season averages don’t jump off the page (5.8 points, 3.2 rebounds per game), but that’s pretty good production for a guy playing just 13 minutes a game as the backup to the best player on the team.
Like Smith, he’s a bit undersized as a power forward, but isn’t afraid to go bang down low with the tall trees.
He got very little credit for his work, but was an extremely important part of the Clippers’ midseason surge that saw them slaying the dragons of the NBA seemingly night-after-night.
Diogu hasn’t ever been able to live up to the expectations that come with being a former lottery draft choice, but he should be a nice rotation player for somebody.
Biggest Wild Card
Few Clippers saw their playing time fluctuate more than the rookie from Wake Forest.
Aminu started the season off-the-bench playing under 10 minutes per game, then saw himself inserted into the starting lineup, when his playing time escalated to over 30 minutes per game. He was then relegated back to the bench permanently, where he played between five and 30 minutes seemingly every night.
Aminu showed flashes of brilliance at times, and was a better three-point shooter than originally thought coming out of college. His raw athleticism is through the roof, and it’s just a matter of being able to harness all of those tools into becoming a good, all-around player.
He plays small forward, but the Clippers are apparently in the market to bring in a top-tier player at the position this summer. This means that Aminu’s role next season will likely be similar to how it was this season…all over the place.
The 2010-11 season was certainly one to remember for our little Clippers. Here’s hoping the 2011-12 season is when the league-wide accolades begin to pour in.
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