Things aren’t going as planned for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Leonard is likely out for the rest of the season while George is still on the sidelines for a few more weeks at the least.
The Clippers are a team built around Leonard and George and when they are off the court, the franchise suffers.
They were having enough problems without Leonard leading them but now they’ve lost six of nine without George too.
However, there are a few players on the team who are stepping up as the two most important guys sit on the bench.
Who is shining bright during this dark period for the Clippers?
3. Marcus Morris Sr.
Marcus Morris Sr. has been playing in the NBA for 11 seasons now but he’s still got gas in the tank.
Let’s make one thing clear: Morris isn’t the sort of guy who is supposed to lead a team but he’s been trying his darnedest while Leonard and George are gone.
This season, Morris averages 16.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists and in the last few games he’s been breaking double-digits nightly and nearly achieving double-doubles with his points and assists.
Marcus Morris Sr.: "We just keep going. We got a lot more games to play. … That's the beauty of the NBA, there's so many games so we can turn it around."
— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) January 7, 2022
Over the last seven games, he’s been averaging 21.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists.
In the two back-to-back losses against the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies, Morris racked up a whopping 55 combined points.
Morris has been the best offensive force for the team of late and thank goodness for that.
2. Amir Coffey
Amir Coffey isn’t playing amazingly consistent basketball but there are flashes of greatness from the young star and, right now, that’s the best the Clippers can hope for.
On Sunday night, Coffey started for his second-straight game and he was really feeling it: he made 21 points in 33 minutes, knocking down eight of his 12 shots.
Coffey has had a few other bright nights lately and when you look at his stats, you see a young man who is on the rise, slowly but surely.
When the season started, Coffey was averaging just 3.8 points a game and now his average is 11.8 – that’s progress.
Coffey isn’t nearly confident or consistent enough but he’s showing enthusiasm and the potential for more.
He isn’t enough to be the star player of this or any team yet but one imagines how he could play with a fully healthy team and it’s an exciting prospect.
1. Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe has been woefully inconsistent lately but he’s been having a few impressive nights.
For example, he produced 27 points in a New Year’s Day win against the Brooklyn Nets.
Eric Bledsoe tonight:
4/6 3PM pic.twitter.com/pAhdmuD4pk
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) January 2, 2022
And the next night he scored…one point.
It’s been hit or miss with Bledsoe lately but on the whole, his average is 10.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and four assists with the average of his last ten games being 12.5 points, 5.3 assists, and 2.9 rebounds with 1.5 steals too.
At his best moments, he looks like a solid point guard who can space the floor and move about quickly.
At his worst, he is someone making silly three-point attempts.
Bledsoe, and the rest of the team, didn’t expect to be in this position and it’s plain to see he’s trying his best to fill the voids left by both Leonard and George.
Hopefully, he doesn’t have to be filling the void for much longer.