The jury is still out on K-Mart’s effectiveness within the Clippers’ different five-man units (6.86 PER), but it’s clear he’s already had an immense impact on the defensive side of things. All (statistical) signs point to him being the sixth or seventh best Clipper this season (you could flip flop between him and Mo). If anything, his influence on Blake Griffin’s defense can help change the young star’s career.
Martin’s defensive strengths (help-side defense, rotations, suffocating on-ball defense, taking physical fouls) have rubbed off on the team and you can see it in their defensive stats (L.A. allows 103.9 points per 100 possessions with Martin on the floor — second-best on the team behind DeAndre Jordan). The Clippers have held their opponents to under 100 points in seven of their nine games with Martin, a major improvement over their previous pace (had allowed over 100 points in 10 of their first 22 games).
As a 15-20 minute back-up power forward/center (first big off the bench), Martin is in his ideal role at this stage of his career. He’s better suited to playing center than Evans is (mainly for defensive purposes — yes, I’m disregarding what their respective PERs at PF/C say), and remains the superior offensive player (though Martin has been so bad offensively that if Evans wasn’t a liability this would be an interesting debate). Safe to say, the Clippers got arguably the best bargain on the open market when the signed Martin.
Overall Grade: B+
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