Clippers-Hornets in Shanghai: 5 key things to look out for

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A triple double for Blake Griffin?

CP3 is set to return and he wants to play “by all means necessary”, but if he’s slightly restricted after fracturing a finger, we could see more of the offense continue to revolve around Griffin. Even with Prigioni stepping up as the starting point guard during the Clippers’ last game, it was still Griffin who often took the ball up court for the starting five and carried the offense as a passer and screener from the top of the key.

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Blake didn’t have the best shooting night against the Hornets in Shenzhen after going 6-of-14 from the field to tally 13 points, but his passing (10 assists) and strong rebounding performance meant he was just one board away from a triple double in only 27 minutes.

That’s what Blake does, though, so it’s hardly surprising to see him pull that off in a preseason game.

Even though these games technically mean nothing, that kind of production is necessary from Griffin at this stage. Not because the Clippers need wins, but because they need someone to serve as an anchor during this adjustment stage for the bench.

As was discussed in my recent column, Griffin spending more of his minutes with the backups could give them the offensive anchor they need as they try and develop into a more cohesive unit:

"His [Griffin’s] passing was on full display against the Hornets, and if he can set up more of the offense for now, rather than letting Stephenson and Crawford dribble and shoot like crazy, it could bring some order to the Clippers’ offense. Not so they just have another player who can dribble and move the ball in transition, but because it takes the ball away from the two shooting guards so they aren’t always responsible for creating offense or resorting to low efficiency shots. Of course, the Clippers’ new bench finding their rhythm is a working progress. They can’t be rushed and need time to figure each other out. However, while that’s the case, the passing and experience of Griffin can lead them and take some of the pressure away from Crawford and Stephenson. Even just a 10 minutes more over the course of an entire game would help."

He won’t have the ball in his hands as much if Paul returns, but you can expect Griffin to turn out plenty of near triple double games while the bench struggle. If he does just that and the bench starting finding anything close to good form, maybe the Clippers can do enough to actually get another win.

Next: Chris Paul, Austin Rivers should plays against Hornets