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CLIPPERS FYI

Eric Bledsoe is staying in control

Team wants the backup point guard to slow down, and he is listening, especially when Chauncey Billups talks.

December 13, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Eric Bledsoe has been told to slow down, and the advice is sinking in.
Eric Bledsoe has been told to slow down, and the advice is sinking in. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Eric Bledsoe is constantly being told to slow down some.

The Clippers' third-year point guard has been instructed to stay in control and think the game through a little bit more.

Fortunately for the Clippers, these reminders have begun to sink in.

"My decision-making has gotten better," Bledsoe said. "You can tell that I haven't really turned the ball over like I usually have. I'm trying not to get out of control, not going too fast. Now I'm fast and in control. So, I can just play and see the game better."

It's still not uncommon to see Bledsoe go out of control, or go too fast, or turn the ball over, or get inside against taller opponents and take a bad shot.

But at least he is more aware of his shortcomings and has been willing to work on them.

Bledsoe, who is averaging 1.64 turnovers a game in 18.5 minutes, has had just two turnovers in his last three games.

He's averaging 10 points on 50% shooting, 38.1% on three-pointers. He's also averaging 2.9 assists and 1.55 steals, ranking him 20th in the NBA despite playing fewer minutes than the players above him.

"I see so much progress, especially for the two years I have played," Bledsoe said. "I just feel like I've gotten better. I just want to help my team win."

Before Wednesday night's game against Charlotte, Bledsoe sat down with Chauncey Billups in the locker room and watched video.

During a few of the timeouts, Bledsoe walked off the court and talked to Chris Paul before going to the bench.

It's having mentors like Billups and Paul that has helped Bledsoe develop more as a point guard.

"Man, I'm very fortunate," Bledsoe said. "Especially to play with two Hall of Fame guards. I'm just picking their brains every minute.

"I always talk to Chauncey, asking him what I can do better once I go in the game. He tells me to bring the energy."

Paul, Griffin high in voting

When the NBA released its first All-Star balloting Thursday, the Clippers had two players among the top vote-getters.

Paul had the second-most votes (353,603) for Western Conference guards behind the Lakers' Kobe Bryant (639,419) and Blake Griffin had the third-most votes (307,855) for frontcourt players in the West behind Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (605,965) and the Lakers' Dwight Howard (434,168).

Etc.

The Clippers didn't practice Thursday, but they will Friday in Charlotte before leaving in the afternoon for Saturday's game in Milwaukee.

The day off allowed Paul to surprise his high school, West Forsyth, and watch the team play in Clemmons, N.C., about 75 miles from Charlotte.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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