DeAndre Jordan is having an excellent season, especially defensively.
The Clippers center leads the NBA in defensive rebounds per game (9.7) and ranks fifth in blocks per game (2.3 – behind Anthony Davis, Serge Ibaka, Hassan Whiteside and Rudy Gobert).
However, Jordan has a few flaws.
Opponents shoot 49.2 percent at the rim with him protecting it – higher than against Davis (48.6), Ibaka (41.1), Whiteside (46.0) or Gobert (38.0). The Clippers also have a below average defense overall – and allow fewer points per possession when Jordan sits.
Jordan has a Defensive Player of the Year case, one his coach is happy to make.
Doc Rivers, via Arash Markazi of ESPN:
“He’s clearly the defensive player of the year,” Rivers said Sunday. “If anybody else gets that award, we need to have an investigation. … What he’s doing defensively, if he was doing that offensively, he would be recognized as the MVP or one of them, but because it’s defense, no one notices.”
Rivers already cried wolf when calling it a “tragedy” Jordan didn’t make the All-Star game. This is no more credible.
Jordan is in the running – but so are Draymond Green Tim Duncan, Gobert, Ibaka and others. It’d hardly take a conspiracy for Jordan to fall short.
Of course, this probably just about Rivers motivating Jordan and gaining his trust. If so, maybe Rivers’ statement makes sense.
But at face value, not one bit.