Steve Clifford: B
Steve Clifford has been very solid so far this season. Despite the injury bug the team is hit with, He has the defense playing respectably. They’re hovering at a defensive rating of 112.8, which is good for 16th in the association. The offensive struggles are very well documented; however, this could be attributed to the injury bug. With LaMelo Ball missing all but three games, the team’s offensive engine has been absent. Even with players like Kelly Oubre Jr. and Dennis Smith Jr. stepping up, the car can’t run without the engine. Coach Clifford earns a solid B due to his excellent work with an injured defense.
Nick Richards: A
Nick Richards earns an A and he earns it comfortably. He went from getting next to no playing time in the 2021 season to being the best center on the roster in 2022. He plays his role as close to perfection as can be asked. He sets strong screens, rolls, cuts to the basket hard, and is active on defense. His efficiency from the field and stripe is nothing to scoff at. Richards is currently shooing 60% from the field, and 74% from the free-throw stripe, equating to a true shooting percentage of 65.3%. His ten points and seven rebounds in less than 20 minutes per contest show he has earned every bit of playing time and more. Richards easily makes an A.
P.J. Washington: C+
P.J. Washington has been inconsistent. His highs have been pretty high, but his lows have been almost equally low. Despite the inconsistency, Washington is putting up a career-best sixteen points per contest while grabbing around five rebounds. Coach Clifford has trusted Washington to create for himself more than ever. Washington is showing the willingness and ability to finish around the rim, attack the paint, and create for himself in the post. His defense has been pretty good as well. Washington is working with the highest usage rate of his career while also having the lowest turnover rate. If he finds some consistency, The C+ could rise significantly.