Cool story, Glenn: Doc Rivers makes uninformed case for DeAndre Jordan as Defensive Player of the Year

19 Comments

Doc Rivers has gone all in on DeAndre Jordan’s Defensive Player of the Year campaign, saying, “If anybody else gets that award, we need to have an investigation.”

That led to Tom Haberstroh writing a compelling article on why Jordan doesn’t deserve the honor. An excerpt:

Rebounding isn’t everything

Jordan does have the upper hand in the rebounding column. Since Blake Griffin went out with a staph infection in early February, Jordan has pulled down a ridiculous 18.6 boards per game with 13.2 of those coming on the defensive end. Those are Wilt Chamberlain-type numbers.

The full scope of DeAndre Jordan’s stats prove he’s not a leading DPOY candidate.

In fact, Jordan’s 17.2 rebounding average was the highest we’ve seen in any month (minimum 10 games) since Ben Wallace in 2002-03, when he racked up 18.8 rebounds per game in the month of March. Interestingly enough, Wallace went on to win the defensive player of the year award in a landslide that season, garnering 100 of the 117 first-place votes.

Here’s why Jordan probably won’t follow Wallace’s path: Most of Jordan’s glass-cleaning impact is on the offensive end, which doesn’t move the needle for his defensive credentials. When Jordan’s on the floor, the Clippers recover 25.5 percent of their misses, but that free-falls to an abysmal 15.4 percent when he goes to the bench, according to NBA.com. That’s impact.

However, Jordan’s defensive rebounding tells a much weaker story. The Clippers’ defensive rebounding rate barely moves from 76.4 percent to 74.6 percent when he goes to the bench, indicating that he could be stealing defensive boards from his teammates. Case in point: Griffin averages just seven rebounds per 36 minutes playing next to Jordan this season, but that soars to 10.6 when Griffin plays without him. Chris Paul also shows a similar split (4.8 boards with Jordan vs. 5.6 without Jordan).

Your response, Doc?

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

How do you complain about what’s not in an article that you didn’t read in full? I just – I don’t even know what to say.

To quote Draymond Green, “Cool story, Glenn.”