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Midseason Roundtable Grades: Mo Speights

Mo Speights was a much hyped acquisition this summer, a player who the Clippers acquired on the cheap. He has been worth every dollar and more

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Wood: A

There's only one number you need to know, and that's Speights' 39% splash rate on three-pointers. It took a long time, but Mo Buckets has added Mo Distance to give Doc Rivers the stretch 5 he has so shamelessly coveted. The rest of this grade comes from watching and enjoying the man go to work. If you don't like Mo, you don't like fun.

Robert Flom: A

Mo Speights has been a delight to watch this season. His proclivity for drawing charges, his insane ability to make seemingly ever three point shot he takes as a trailer on a fastbreak, his ability to get a crowd going...all of these things have endeared him to Clippers’ fans in under one season. Mo is hitting a career high on three pointers while also playing (at times) the best defense of his career. Doing all this on a minimum contract makes him one of the great bargains in the NBA, and an easy candidate for an ‘A’ grade.

Shapan Debnath: B+

Mo Buckets has been a big boon to the Clippers second unit offensively. After years of failure with stretch fours, Doc Rivers finally found his guy in Mo, who is currently shooting an awesome 39.3% from 3 point range. Mo has never seen a shot he doesn't like, and even his heat check shots are sometimes a welcome sight after watching Craw Ball all these years. He's gotten to the point where if he's open from the perimeter, there's a decent amount of trust that he could make the shot. The quicker you tell yourself that, the better it is, because if he's open, the shot is going up. Mo has made a believer out of me, someone that has not enjoyed his game for a very long time. I use to criticize Mo for being an all offense no defense guy, and really, that hasn't changed too much. Can't quite give him that A when his poor pick and roll defense becomes a focal point of the opponent's attack, but we didn't expect him to be a defensive stalwart, did we? You have to at least applaud effort with all those charges he manages to draw. Mo is definitely the kind of guy you can't stand until he's on your team, then you realize why he was so loved elsewhere.

Kenneth Armstrong: B

Mo worked his way into a really good two-month stretch during December and January but he has come back to earth a little bit this month. His three point shooting (including a cool one-three-per-game streak) has been a good bonus for the team this season; however, the Clippers have asked a lot out of him (as they have with many other players this season). He's not a great defender and he fouls a lot, so he only gets a B from me. I do think he will be a huge plus in the playoffs, given his experience, and will prove to be what we thought we were getting from Josh Smith.

Max Jeffrey: A

Getting Marreese Speights on a veteran’s minimum deal was probably the steal of the offseason. Speights, arguably the best reserve for the Clippers this season, has given the second unit a much-needed offensive boost. Speights is averaging 9.9 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 44.9% from the field and 39.3 percent from beyond the arc in just 16.5 minutes of play per game. Speights has been extremely productive even in very limited minutes, and what makes him perhaps most valuable to the Clippers is his flexibility and range for their front court rotation; he can play alongside Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan and opens up the floor for either because he is a true perimeter threat. He averages 1.4 three-point shots made on 3.6 attempts per game in less than half the minutes of a typical NBA starter; for further perspective, he has made 79 total three-point attempts this season, ranking him 2nd amongst all current NBA centers from behind the arc. Speights has also provided some much-needed rebounding in limited minutes; he ranks 2nd on the team in Offensive Rebound Percentage (8.0%), Defensive Rebound Percentage (23.4%), and total Rebound Percentage (15.9%). Additionally, he ranks 4th on the team in Player Impact estimate, only behind Chris Paul, Griffin, and Jordan. After losing highly-productive backup center Cole Aldrich during the offseason to Minnesota, the Clippers had a huge void to fill. Speights has far-exceeded expectations and has quickly become a fan favorite for the Clippers in the process.