While Blake Griffin and Chris Paul led the way Wednesday night for the Los Angeles Clippers with 31 points and 12 rebounds, and 14 points and 11 assists, respectively, it was Jared Dudley’s sharp-shooting that instilled the team with a sense of confidence as they get ready to take on the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs on a tough road back-to-back starting Friday night. Dudley finished the night with 20 points on 7-10 FG and 6-9 from beyond the arc; he led the team with a +29 in the 112-85 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
“Dud is a shooter. Every time I see him shoot it, I think it’s going in, so we’re going to keep feeding him like that,” Clippers point guard Chris Paul said after the game. “It’s all about confidence.”
Coming into Wednesday night’s game, Dudley had missed 11 of his last 12 3-pointers. His season-high six three-pointers was the most for Dudley in a game since April 2010.
“For me, to see the ball go in once or twice, it breeds confidence,” added Dudley. “I’ve just got to be aggressive and obviously make shots. I know when I play well, our team usually plays well. When you move the ball from side to side, it opens things up more. Sometimes when I do score, it just gives the other guys the confidence to do other things. But when I’m not shooting the ball well, I have to do all the little things.”
While the start of the season has been quite the roller coaster ride for Dudley, there is no doubt the Clippers need him to continue playing like he did Wednesday night. Especially with J.J. Redick out due to injury, Dudley’s outside shooting is absolutely necessary to give Paul and Griffin the space they need. Through 34 games this season, the Clippers are 13-1 when Dudley scores at least 10 points and 7-0 when he makes at least three shots from beyond the arc.
It is an extremely small sample size, but 2014 has been very good for Dudley so far. Having him get back to form from beyond the arc will be a huge asset for the Clippers.
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated
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