Right around Christmas the L.A. Clippers were hit hard by the injury bug, with point guard Chris Paul and power forward Blake Griffin missing time. Paul went through a stretch in which he missed seven of eight games due to a left hamstring injury, and Griffin has been out since December 20 after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. Doc Rivers' team went 2-6 during the eight games in which Paul was dealing with the hamstring injury, with the two wins coming at the beginning of the year against Phoenix and Memphis. Those two wins were the start of a streak that's currently at six games, which has kept the Clippers right in the mix for a coveted top four seed in the Western Conference.
Paul's certainly been good in his first four games back, averaging 17.8 points, 12.3 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game and shooting 52.3 percent from the field. While the point guard is certainly a key figure for the Clippers, one should not overlook the impact of center DeAndre Jordan during this win streak. Jordan's averaging 14.7 points, 18.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game during the streak, shooting a staggering 72.5 percent from the field. Most of Jordan's field goal attempts come in the paint, but there's still something to be said for his conversion rate. And the way in which he's controlled the backboards on both ends has helped the Clippers stay afloat in the race for a playoff spot that would ensure home-court advantage for at least the first round.
An All-NBA selection each of the last two seasons (third team in 2014-15, first team in 2015-16), Jordan's well on his way to making it three seasons in a row in 2016-17. The Clippers are one of the holdovers in this week's power rankings, with Oklahoma City making a return and Memphis dropping out. (Getty)
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