A few nuggets for your perusal today:
Paul entered the season as the player most likely to be the league’s best point guard, and he has not disappointed. But Bledsoe has been a revelation. Among point guards, Bledsoe ranks second in PER behind only Paul, and he is doing it in the way Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook dominate opponents — physically beating up defenders.
Mostly freed of his lead guard duties, Bledsoe now is just trying to fry his man and get buckets. Consequently, he’s having a career season in almost every category except assists. And even that is a positive for Bledsoe, as he is not nearly as focused on making a pass, which has in turn helped him severely cut down on his turnovers.
When Bledsoe’s in, he’s looking to make aggressive plays, which is why he’s second among all point guards off the bench in usage rate. It’s a great strategy that complements what the Clippers get from Paul, the perfect blend of game manager and bucket-seeker, depending on the time, score and situation.
The Clippers are doing the job defensively as well, and easily have the best combination of point guards on that end of the floor so far this season. In fact, the Clippers allow the least points to opposing point guards and are the best in net points. (They also rank fifth in scoring from that position.)
Bledsoe’s development has allowed the Clippers to prosper when Paul is on the bench in comparison to when he’s on the floor. Think about that; the Clippers simply would not be on this 10-game winning streak without that type of second-group dominance, led by Bledsoe, one of the top four athletes at the point guard position.