Fourteen points, thirteen rebounds, and zero blocks. Those aren’t DeAndre Jordan‘s averages this series. It’s his totals.
The third place finalist in the Defensive Player of the Year voting and NBA’s leading rebounder has been far from that in this series 1-1 draw and that doesn’t bode well for the Los Angeles Clippers in their pursuit to knock out Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Coming into the series, Jordan averaged 10.4 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks during the regular season. Then against the Golden State Warriors, he upped his play; he averaged 12.1 points, 15.1 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the seven game first round series. Both far better than what he’s giving the Clippers now.
In the two games, the Clippers have been drastically out rebounded 99-67 (30-15 offensive rebounds). Oklahoma City has also outscored Los Angeles in the paint, leading 84-76. While both categories are a team effort, it begins with Jordan.
Jordan’s counterparts in Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka, and Steven Adams aren’t as big and athletic, but have done a great job of nullifying his play which isn’t ideal for the Clippers, especially when their leading rebounder is ranked fourth in this series in total rebounds and dead last in blocks.
The Clippers as a whole must fix the issues in the paint and on the glass if they want to continue to challenge the Thunder. For that to happen though, they need much more out of Jordan on that side of the ball.
They need the lob catching pogo stick, shot blocking, and rebounding machine back on the court that everyone has become accustomed to seeing.