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Blake Griffin is leading the Clippers the way he always should have

Although it’s early in the season, Blake Griffin has led the Los Angeles Clippers to the top spot in the Western Conference.

When future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul was traded by the Clippers to the Houston Rockets, Lob City as we know it ended. Paul was the engine for L.A., and without him it seemed they’d go nowhere.

In his place the Clippers received Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and a 2018 first-round pick. They also added Danilo Gallinari from the Denver Nuggets in a three-team trade.

With quality pieces surrounding Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan there was no way L.A. was going to be a lottery team this year but in a short sample size of games they’re even better than most expected, and that’s largely due to Griffin.

The All-Star forward is leading the Clippers with 26.3 ppg on 53.6% shooting. With Griffin’s role as the guy for L.A. clear, he’s helped them win three consecutive games in blowout fashion to start the season, and he hit a game-winning three-point buzzer beater against the Portland Trail Blazers to move the Clips to 4-0.

In that game Griffin scored 16 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter stepping up when it mattered most. He’s been criticized at times for not going hard to the basket but so far his outside shot, including his three ball, is falling regularly and helping L.A. put teams away.

It’s way too early in the season to make any playoff seeding judgments or even cases for MVP but what can be said is that Paul’s departure has put Griffin back into the spotlight as the sole leader of his team, and so far he’s stepped up to the challenge.

If Griffin and the Clippers continue at this pace there’s no denying he’ll be in the MVP conversation down the line. His individual stats may not be as high as others but his impact has been undeniable.

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