DeAndre Jordan…where do I even start with DeAndre Jordan?
He’s a spectacular athlete, there’s no questioning that, but is he ever going to be a spectacular basketball player? Because that’s who the Clippers need him to be this year.
Jordan is 6’11”, 250 pounds and gets up and down the court like few big men in the league do. If the Clippers are to have any chance at finishing in the top 8 in the Western Conference and earning a playoff spot, they’re going to have to take advantage of an athletic roster and force an up tempo game on their opponents. We’ll hear more about that later this month when we profile Baron Davis, but that is the only way this team will have a chance to contend for a playoff spot.
So, in order to run, they’re going to need to have quality depth who can offer fresh legs and the ability to continue an up tempo attack. This is where Jordan could be a vital piece to the Clippers’ hopes this season.
Jordan has the potential to be a matchup nightmare for some of the more plodding centers in the West (Duncan, Biedrins, Okur, Ming) but he has to be able to prove that he is worthy of getting those minutes. I know he’s behind an All-Star center on the depth chart and no one here is going to make a convincing argument that Jordan should push Chris Kaman for the starter’s spot – but he should be pushing him for minutes, both to switch up the tempo and to keep Kaman fresh.
When the stats are adjusted, Jordan ranks in the top 10 in blocks and rebounds per 48 minutes played but there has been little reason to give him substantial minutes on a regular basis, as you never know which Jordan will show up. So we’ll have to see what kind of shape Jordan shows up for camp in to see whether he’s finally going to be more than an athletic big man who can’t get it together on the court.