The Los Angeles Clippers have their star point guard back, and this season the team is 29-11 when Chril Paul suits up for them. CP3 missed a recent nine game stretch and the Clipps went just 3-6 in that span, however, I did not feel like the point guard play was the issue as Eric Bledsoe showed a lot of glimpses as to why he has a massive future (in my opinion anyway).
The third year guard saw his minutes skyrocket to 36 per game in Paul’s absence (his career average is under 20 minutes), and he produced better than ever in his young career with the increased floor time. He averaged 15 points and six assists over those nine games and his confidence was growing before our eyes (there were several games where Bledsoe even was LAC’s leading scorer).
This young man is clearly benefiting from going against CP3 in practice, and by being his teammate. I love the way he intently/strategically watches the 8-9 minutes that Paul will get to start the game to see if he can diagnose what the opposition is trying to do to the point guard position. Sort of like an on-deck batter paying attention to speed and pitch selection so he can have a better plan of attack when it is his turn.
Bledsoe is an excellent defender in spurts (perhaps not as consistent as Paul) and is cash money from the foul line, plus I love his aggressive/attacking style of play. This “mini LeBron” (his teammates call him that) will probe defenses and attack defenses which includes getting into the paint and being aggressive amongst the bigs. This is a guy who can create havoc for opposing defenses which will lead to kick outs for an open teammate, and he even will get his share of rebounds.
I am very excited about the future of this young man, and I can see why the Clippers have turned down so many trades that would have meant parting with the 23-year-old former Kentucky Wildcat.