Blake, Deandre, Eric, Al Farouq, and Eric make up our "U23". That right there is already a very young but talented group of guys that can make strides to become a force to be reckoned with. Each member of the U23 has their own ways of being special. Eric Bledsoe with his lighnting quick ability, Eric Gordon with being a clutch lockdown defender, Al Farouq with his potential to become a mismatch threat, Blake Griffin with his strength, athleticism and speed, and Deandre Jordan with his vicious defensive potential. This post is meant to evaluate what each member of the U23 brings to the table (.FYI, this is my first fanpost here :) Now, let's begin with Al Farouq Aminu.
Al Farouq is a supreme athlete. He jumps with his freakish athleticism, explosiveness and very nice length. He stands 6'8 but has a 7'3 wingspan. He has the tools to become the best player on the Clippers! Sounds a bit odd but it's definently true. There are some doubters out there, but I'm a firm believer in Al Farouq. In my opinion, Ryan Gomes got in AFA'S way into developing with the rest of the U23. Players like AFA need time to develop so I think signing a guy like Tayshaun Prince would be vital for this team. We lack experience and Tayshaun is a player that has been to the promised land before. He could teach AFA on how to be a consistent baller for years to come.
Al Farouq's strengths are that he is very athletic, he is versatile, a very good rebounder, ability to defend other positions, a nice frame, and he has some intensity in him. All of that is great, but I think he needs to add a few more tools in his toolbelt to become more consistent with his game.
Al Farouq's weaknesses are that he is a tweener, makes bad decisions, sometimes a bit turnover prone, no the best ball handler, and he can't shoot off the dribble. All of that can be worked on if he has the proper guidance of a experienced coach. Vinny, please leave the Clippers!
As for some highlights, unfortunately Al Farouq doesn't have any highlight reels longer than 2 minutes as a Clipper so I decided to rally up a couple of 20 to 30 second clips of him. Clip #1 Clip #2 Clip #3 Clip #4
Next up, Eric Bledsoe
We got a gem in Eric Bledsoe. I mean he is so quick and his ability to finish around the rim is amazing. I can't believe we got this guy in the later part of the draft. I think he deserves to be our starter right now. He has so much talent, it is sky rocketing! This kid is a beast and I'm happy that he has the chance to become a star for the Clippers. Eric B. is our future floor general I have problems with that. There are just a few things that he needs to work on. I'll get into that later, as for now, here are his strengths.
Eric B's strengths are that he has rare athletic gifts, great length and tremendous explosiveness, lightning quick first step, he can change his direction quickly without losing his stride, he is very fast with the ball in his hands, he has a chiseled frame that makes up his height, a solid passer, freakish wingspan that gives him potential to become a lockdown defender, he has the ability to play in pressure situations (Clutch)
Time for the bad news. Eric B. needs to work on his decision making. The turnovers have been piling up all year. Sometimes, he dribbles with his head down and not paying any attention to the structure of the defense, he has a slow jumpshot release, doesn't really take advantage of the mid range shot, and he also need to find out how to impact a game whenever he isn't having a good game.
Next up, Deandre Jordan.
Out of EJ, BG, AFA, and EB, Deandre is my favorite player. He rebounds, he blocks shots, he, puts up nice numbers almost every night. I really like this kid. A potential top 5 center when he fully develops. He is real long too, that causes havoc for other players. One thing I notice with him on the court is that he gets into foul trouble pretty quick by mis-timing his jumps to block a shot. That can be worked on by doing some protect-the-paint drills in practice. Other than that, I don't think there are too many problems with him.
Deandre Jordan's strengths are that he possess freakish athleticism, incredibly quick, his potential on defense, almost a never miss whenever he is 3 feet near the rim, freakish wingspan, he likes to bang with the big boys, good hands, has a good work ethic, and he is an excellent rebounder.
Sorry to rain on DJ's parade but there are some things he desperately needs to work on like his freethrow shooting, his fundamentals, lack of post moves, a poor passer, and his limited ability with his back to the basket.
Next up, Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon may be silent, but he is deadly. In my book, EJ is the third best shooting guard in the league. I do not care if people call me a homer or an idiot but to me it's clear. EJ can seriously stroke it from deep and he can put the lock on his man on defense. He may be short, but his strength and athleticism makes up for it big time. If there is a season this year, EJ will be an all star. There I said it, you can take that to the bank. EJ can do a little bit of everything a shooting guard needs to do in order to become great. He can pass, shoot, defend, and is a quiet leader.
Eric Gordon's strengths are that he has a quick release, his perimeter shooting ability, his ability to get to the free throw line, athletic, strength, good perimeter defender, 3 point range, excellent first step, and his pull up jumper.
I hate to be the bear of bad news, but Eric Gordon has a couple of things to work on such as his ball handling skills, his decision making, his shot selection, and his ability to create for others.
There are so many to highlights to choose, but I found the best one. The best part is that it's made from one of our brethren, Clipper Joe! Enjoy
Next up, Blake Griffin
Blake is probably in the top 5 best players in Clippers history already. I mean this guy has so much potential it's not even funny. You know the phrase, "that players potential is through the roof!" well, Blake's potential is through the heavens. By the time his career is over I'm predicting that he is going to win about 6 MVP'S, 5 NBA titles and be in the All NBA first team about 12 times. There are a couple of things that Blake needs to work on, but since he is such a hard worker I'm sure he has those things taken care of.
Blake Griffin's strengths are that he is the most athletic player in the NBA, excellent rebounder, his basketball IQ, unselfishness, strength, potential, ball handling skills, energy, work ethic, very efficient, ability to finish through contact, and he has excellent hands.
The bad news, Blake isn't perfect....YET! There are some things he needs to work on like his free throw shooting, defensive fundamentals, consistent mid range jump shot, and not having advanced post moves.
If you search "Blake Griffin" on youtube you will get tons of videos on him. That's great an all, but I want to watch a video where it has all of the excitement of what he did thispast year. Fortunately, I have found that video, it's just over 25 minutes long so this highlight is more like a movie. I watched it like 4 times already and I never get tired of it. It's a must watch so please, Enjoy it
So there you have it. I pretty much just broke down the U23 in a matter of 45 minutes. It was fun doing this post and I hope you all have fun reading it. Hopefully it wasn't too bad. I want to give thanks to youtube for all these highlights. One last thing, Go Clippers!