At the age of ten I really began to watch basketball and began to observe that it was not just a bunch of guys running up and down the court trying to put a leather ball in in a basket. At one point in my fourth grade year, I watched a Texas A&M basketball game and I witnessed a 19-year-old DeAndre Jordan struggle offensively. I was perplexed: he was the tallest guy on the court, why can’t he just jump over top of people and score? He looked huge, why can’t he just score?
I asked my father “Dad, why can’t that huge guy just score all the points, he’s like half of a foot taller then everyone else!”.
DeAndre Jordan is now 25-years-old and is entering his 6th year in the Association; it is time for him to assume a larger scoring role for the Los Angeles Clippers. With the Clippers losing a key scorer from the starting five in Caron Butler, it is now time for Jordan to take the next step in his development and become a double double guy.
Butler’s replacement, Jared Dudley, has shown a reluctance to put up shots in the preseason and appears to be the kind of player that only shoots with the flow unlike Butler (who never met a shot he didn’t like). Not saying Dudley’s lack of shots is a concern, but those shots need to go somewhere else…so why not give em to the big fella who shot a league-best 64.3% from the field last year?
I would love to see Jordan’s 8.8 ppg from last year jump to around 11. I have a limited trust of Blake Griffin’s offensive abilities and often I feel Jordan likes to take higher percentage shots like this one, or this one, and we cannot forget about this gem.
So let that settle in and think about this guy in pick and roll situations. Of course the Clippers use him in pick and roll, but coach Doc Rivers should begin thinking about giving Jordan a larger role in the pick and roll game because friends let me tell you, I am sick and tired of seeing Blake Griffin not rolling to the basket and deciding to pull up for 18 ft jumpers. With Jordan’s excellent shot selection, it is worth a look to see if his offensive game can open up the playbook for you.
I am by no means saying DeAndre Jordan is the key to the Clippers’ offensive success, but with Chris Paul’s decision making ability combined with Jordan’s, you could be looking at five or six more productive possessions per game if you involve him. The emphasis for Jordan should be to work on his inside out passing and his post moves to ensure that he can avoid double teams and finish at the rim. If Jordan can improve on those skills and get a little more involved offensively, the Los Angeles Clippers will be tough to stop this coming season.