The Clippers are sure putting a lot of eggs into one 6-foot-11, 250-pound basket.
In addition to touting center DeAndre Jordan as a member of the Clippers’ new “Big Three” along with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, the team plans to put Jordan on the cover of its media guide, according to The Los Angeles Times. Jordan’s inclusion on the cover with Griffin and Paul is a bold statement about how much the Clippers’ fortunes ride on the inconsistent big man.
Coach Doc Rivers in particular has been bullish on Jordan and his new team. The former Celtics bench boss says this year’s Clips “should be better than any team I’ve ever coached,” which will require Jordan to finally vault into the upper echelon of dominant defensive centers.
If anyone can help him do that, Jordan believes it is Rivers.
“He’s been the greatest thing for my career so far, and we’ve only been together for not even a month,” Jordan told the Times. “I can feel that he’s going to be really good for my career.”
The Clippers constructed an outstanding supporting cast that includes Jared Dudley, J.J. Redick and Antawn Jamison over the summer, but Jordan is the key piece in determining whether they become a championship contender or just another really good team in the Western Conference. Their other big man options are Byron Mullens, Ryan Hollins and Louis Amundson.
Jordan has played in all 148 games over the past two seasons and led the league with a .643 field goal percentage last season. However, he has never averaged more than 8.8 points or 8.3 rebounds per game, and although he has averaged 1.5 blocked shots per game in his career, his .386 free throw percentage last season forced then-coach Vinny Del Negro to keep him on the bench in pivotal situations.
According to Basketball Reference’s similarity scores, which compare players based on win shares at certain stages in their careers, the player most similar to Jordan after five seasons is former journeyman Scot Pollard.