Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers have dominated the NBA with supreme athleticism and timely shooting so far in 2012. They own the No. 7 defense in the league and the No. 4 offense, so it can't be too surprising that they've ripped off eight straight wins -- which is the second-longest streak in the NBA behind the Oklahoma City Thunder.
LA gets a lot of easy shots at the rim thanks to Chris Paul and an army of prolific dunkers, and as a result they convert shots in the restricted area at the fourth-highest clip in the associated (63.6%). As it so happens, the Bucks employ a two lanky Tube Men to help them protect the rim -- Larry Sanders and Ekpe Udoh -- and consequently Milwaukee holds opponents to the third-lowest field goal percentage in the restricted area (53.3%). That's a huge gap, so something will have to give on Saturday night.
If you haven't had the pleasure of watching the Clippers this season, one key to their success is the strength of their bench unit. The backups are led by Eric Bledsoe, who is an amazing talent in his own right. CP3's backup has dazzled NBA observers all season long, and Steve Perrin of SB Nation Los Angeles is doing his best to get the word out on how good Bledsoe has been in 2012:
It's difficult to express just how unique a player Bledsoe is. At just over 6 feet tall, he averages over five and a half rebounds per 36 minutes second best in the league among point guards. Almost two and a half of those rebounds are on the offensive glass, which is astounding. His offensive rebounding rate (the percentage of offensive rebounds he gets while he's on the floor) would be pretty good for a power forward -- he's a point guard...
...But you can see it with your eyes as well. Bledsoe is simply put an athletic freak and at least once a game he does something that will make your jaw drop. For many years Dwyane Wade has been far and away the best shot blocking guard in the NBA -- Bledsoe took the title away from him in the most disrespectful way imaginable earlier this season with a block at the rim.
Be sure to check out Clips Nation for more on the Clippers.
Steve's Song of the Day