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Midseason Roundtable Grades: Luc Mbah a Moute

The Clippers have gotten a surprising boost this year from forward Luc Mbah a Moute. Here are the grades our writers would give him for his performance thus far.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Shapan Debnath: A

I was considering giving M&M an A- because his rebound numbers aren't where they could be, but you can't ask for everything when he's defensively attached to the hip of premier offensive swing players every other night. Luc has put in work this offseason and it has shown in spades. He's made offensive cuts/drives with confidence and is shooting about 39% from deep. He's been as good of a three as we've had in a long time, and he has room to get better and more fluid with the starters. His game has grown a ton, and I'm glad he's back in the starting lineup. Unless a trade is made, I'm very comfortable with him staying there, something I wasn't comfortable saying this time last year.

Robert Flom: A-

Luc has upped his stats across the board from last season, and substantially so in some areas. He’s shooting better, scoring more, and accumulating more blocks and steals. The only blemish is a decrease in rebounding, which is a real issue when paired with backcourts that are already poor in that talent. But no matter. Luc has been awesome, and deserves real accolades (cough 2nd Team All Defense cough) for his efforts on defense this season. I wish he was a bit more of a threat shooting the ball, as I still think the Warriors will be able to play him off the court. On the whole, though, he has been a delightful surprise this season.

Max Jeffrey: B+

When evaluating Luc Mbah a Moute, it is important to consider several factors. First of all, he has a huge responsibility for the Clippers’ starting unit; arguably the team’s best isolation defender, Mbah a Moute has been tasked with guarding some of the league's best offensive players. He holds opponents to 43.3% shooting from the field and 34.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Despite only averaging 6.2 points in 22.5 minutes per game, Mbah a Moute has increasingly become confident offensively, cutting to the basket aggressively whenever possible while shooting 38.8% from behind the arc. He ranks 5th on the team in +/- (+2.9) only behind the the team’s four others starters, and is certainly outplaying his extremely team-friendly contract.

Kenneth Armstrong: A

This grade is a function of expectations -- that is, I did not expect Luc to be such a positive force for the team this year, so he gets high marks from me. While very impressive, his defensive production is not surprising. How he has become more comfortable with taking shots on offense, however, has been a welcome development. 49% from the field and 39% from behind the arc is good with me; keep it up, Luc!

Erik Olsgaard: B+

Luc has been just phenomenal. Defensively, he's on another planet right now. He's had statement defensive performances against the likes of Gordon Hayward and Kawhi Leonard, and he's an absolute savant in knowing when not to bite on the shot-fake. Offensively, he's been a complete surprise from the corner three, hitting 38.5% of his shots from distance. Who would have thought he'd have a higher TS% than Blake Griffin at this point in the season? He may not put up gawdy numbers, but Luc is a steady, steady rock on the team. B+ for Luc.

Davey Bales: B+

One of the most pleasant surprises of the season has been Luc's above-average three point shooting (38.8%) and all-around confidence on the offensive end (averaging three times as many three-pointers per game compared to last year). Though his obvious value is as a defensive stopper, he is a smart cutter without the ball and he clearly has worked hard to shed his label as a complete offensive liability. The Clippers aren't going to stop looking to add a more complete wing any time soon, but Luc has filled the starting role admirably and Doc would be well-served to give the man more minutes, particularly once CP's return provides more offensive firepower and stabilizes the rotation; it's no coincidence that he's averaging nearly four more minutes per game in Clippers wins than losses.