Blake Griffin continued to add to his burgeoning legend when he was named to the 2010-11 All-Rookie First Team and was the lone unanimous selection.
Teammate Eric Bledsoe was to the All-Rookie Second Team by the NBA's 30 head coaches.
Griffin, who could only sit and watch as his team slugged its way to a horrendous 29-53 finish in 2009-10 while he was sidelined for the full season with an injured left patella, made sure that he made his impact felt as often as possible in 2010-11. He helped the team improve to 32-50 with a variety of acrobatic dunks, twisting bankers in the lane and an indefatigable desire to collect rebounds at either end of the floor.
In Griffin's 82 appearances with the Clippers in 2010-11, he averaged 22.5 points per game, good for 12th overall in the league, while also yanking down 12.1 boards per contest, which ranked him fourth throughout the NBA and led to 63 double-doubles, putting him behind just two others in that category. His superb efforts led to him being recognized as the Western Conference Rookie of the Month a staggering six times.
And Griffin didn't take his foot off the gas at All-Star Weekend. In addition to playing on the West team, he leaped over a car to receive a pass from former teammate Baron Davis and throw down a spectacular slammer that won him the dunk contest.
Bledsoe, meanwhile, rarely stopped hustling at either end of the floor and was picked by the NBA's coaches to be on the 2010-11 All-Rookie Second Team. Bledsoe was typically a dead-eye shooter from the perimeter over the course of 2010-11.
The Clippers won their 14th of 21 games against the Milwaukee Bucks on January 31 to improve to 19-28. Hopes for the playoffs at that moment were sky-high after the team stumbled to a 5-21 start marred by blowing leads in the second halves of games, especially considering the rapid improvement of Blake Griffin and the capable scoring Randy Foye was providing in place of the injured Eric Gordon.
The Clippers got waxed by the eventual Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls, 106-88, on February 2, and the team's confidence was never the same afterwards. With Eric Gordon missing all of February, and Chris Kaman missing half of the month due to injury, the Clippers dropped 12 of their 14 games played during the month to destroy any playoff hopes they had built up with a strong push in January.
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