Luckily for the Clippers, Blake Griffin finds a way to make those impactful plays while filling up the stat sheet.
Saturday afternoon against the Pistons, the five-time All-Star genuinely did it all for Los Angeles, as he totaled 34 points, nine assists, eight rebounds, two steals and a block in 42 minutes on the floor.
Only his most influential play didn’t register in the box score during a 101-96 victory.
Two Detroit players jumped along with Griffin, but couldn’t prevent him from securing the ball. Prior to landing out of bounds, he fired the ball off Ersan Ilyasova and the Clippers retained possession when Reggie Jackson caught the ball out of bounds.
The Clippers retained possession and off the inbound pass, buried a 20-foot jumper with 17 seconds remaining to put the game out of reach.
The 43 assists Griffin has dished out this season are the most among all power forwards this season and he is quietly putting together the most impressive season of his career.
Ten games into the season, Griffin is arguably the most complete player in the league, as he is averaging 26.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
Griffin has connected on 106 shots from 2-point range, the most among all players in the league and his 56.7 percent shooting from the field is the highest of his career.
Although he is still one of the highest fliers in the NBA, Griffin’s much improved jumper has propped up his offensive numbers this season. Griffin is connecting on 65 percent of his pull-up jumpers and is connecting on 44 percent of his catch-and-shoot possessions.
His numbers are even diminished by a questionable ejection Thursday night in Phoenix, as he was thrown out of the game for arguing a foul call he didn’t receive in the second quarter.
Griffin is having a special season and if he maintains his current pace, he will draw serious consideration for the MVP award.
Biggest Surprise: Reggie Jackson– Detroit Pistons
Jackson has scored 20 or more points in six of his last seven appearances for the Pistons as he is dominating in his first season as a full time starter. Jackson is averaging 21.7 points, 5.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game as the Pistons are off to an impressive 5-4 start. Last Sunday against the Trail Blazers, Jackson scored 26 of his career-high 40 points to spark Detroit to a comeback victory.
Biggest Disappointment: Al Jefferson– Charlotte Hornets
Perhaps dropping 25 pounds before the start of the season wasn’t the remedy to Jefferson’s offensive problems. Through nine contests, the 6-foot-10 center is averaging just 12.7 points per game, his fewest since becoming a full-time starter 10 years ago. Jefferson’s production has been especially brutal over the past week, as he is averaging just 6.3 points on 28.6 percent shooting and has failed to score in double figures each of the past three games. Charlotte isn’t even getting his usual rebounding production, as he has pulled down just 6.6 rebounds a night in the midst of his offensive struggles.
Pick ’em Up: Zaza Pachulia– Dallas Mavericks
It’s rare to see a player averaging a double-double 10 games into the season available in more than half of the Yahoo! fantasy leagues, but Pachulia is still unowned in 51 percent of all leagues. The 6-foot-11 center has plenty of appeal, he starts for Dallas, plays more than 26 minutes a night and Friday against the Lakers, submitted his most complete performance of the season with 16 points, 18 rebounds and two assists. For the year, Pachulia is averaging 10.7 points, 10 rebounds, 1.7 assists and unlike many other centers in the league, isn’t a liability at the foul line, as he is converting 79.7 percent of his attempts.
Put ’em Down: John Henson– Milwaukee Bucks
Following a stellar season debut, as he scored 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field against New York, Henson has gone quite. In his four appearances since, Henson has totaled just 16 points and has blocked just five shots. Throughout his career, Henson has been a potent shot blocker in limited minutes, but the Bucks are now too deep for him to receive a consistent piece in the rotation, spending less than 15 minutes a night on the floor.
Injury Watch: Tyreke Evans– New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans are hoping Evans will be back in the lineup before the end of the month. If Evans is able return, it will surpass the original projection doctors estimated following his arthroscopic knee operation performed on Oct. 20. In his absence, the Pelicans are off to a 1-8 start and are the worst defensive team in the league, surrendering 111 points per game, as the perimeter defense has completely collapsed.
Stat of the Week: Stephen Curry– Golden State Warriors
The torrid start from Curry is already starting to produce dramatic results. During an overtime victory against Brooklyn, Curry scored 34 points and connected five times from 3-point range. For his career, Curry has knocked down 1,248 shots from 3-point range in just 427 career games, moving him past his father, Dell Curry (in 1,083 career games) on the all-time 3-point shooting list. Eleven games into the season, Curry has poured in 367 points (33.4 per game), the most since Michael Jordan had 387 to start the 1992-93 season. In NBA history, a player has averaged 30 or more points for an entire season on 67 occasions, only 15 have been submitted by point guards: Oscar Robertson (six times) Jerry West (four times), Allen Iverson (four times) and once by Nate Archibald.