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ESPN: Clips have three of top six rookies

5

Some nice words for all three rookies. "1. Blake Griffin, Clippers Griffin's 44-point, 15-rebound and 7-assist performance on Saturday was inevitable, and we'll see more outbursts like this from him going forward. In a fast-paced game, when the opponent is a team that does not clog the lane with space-eaters or shot-blockers, Griffin will use his agility and quickness to nimbly weave through defenders and get to the rim constantly. Once there, his explosiveness takes care of the rest. His combination of power, agility, quickness and size makes him unique. Mix in his ferocious desire to pound and embarrass opponents at the rim, and you get a prototypical power forward for the new NBA (save his lack of a shooting stroke -- he has a pronounced hitch and a wrist turn that is difficult to replicate consistently). As it stands today, he might be, and probably is, the best slashing power forward in the game. When his defender moves toward the ball and away from him as a helper, it is difficult to rotate back as the ball arrives to Griffin's hands. He takes up too much space too quickly and is 12 feet up in the air before the defender can react. The Clippers are a terrible team, but Griffin gives them hope for the future. 5. Eric Bledsoe, Clippers Yes, his turnovers are up and his assists are down, but overall he's a dynamic young guy playing 30 minutes a night in a tough situation for a rookie point guard, considering he's often trying to lead four other young guys on the court. Relative to the rest of the NBA, the youngest Clippers are just kids. Imagine being a babysitter when you were 11 years old, and the four kids you were watching were 11, too. However, Baron Davis or the coaching staff has done a good job teaching him not to rush everything as much as he was. I love how he is competing on defense and the boards, too. He's in the top 10 in rebound rate among all NBA point guards, which isn't a surprise when considering how long and fast he is and how he goes to the glass every time. It's a great sign to see him that locked in. He's also shooting the ball OK and not just chucking up shots. 6. Al-Farouq Aminu, Clippers Coming on strong, Aminu makes it three Clippers in the top 6. He's still picking his spots to race the floor and having a difficult time defending small forwards who use screens -- simply because he's never had to do that before -- but the truth is he'll definitely get better in both areas. And fairly fast. Meanwhile, he is 13 for 24 from 3-point land (54 percent) and scored 16 points in the Clippers' huge win against the Hornets on Monday. It was his sixth double-figure scoring night in his last 8 games, and his true shooting percentage is creeping to the magical 60 percent mark (58.8 -- third among non-center rookies). Another plus for Aminu is his effort on the glass, where I think he can be special. He plays some minutes at the 4 for this reason and probably will continue to do so. An Aminu-Griffin frontline will surely present some matchup nightmares for opponents in the future."

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