FRIDAY FIVE: DEANDRE JORDAN BLOCKED SHOTS
The biggest news from the Clippers’ first half of the preseason has arguably been the play of sixth-year center DeAndre Jordan. He is the team’s second leading scorer, is shooting better than 70 percent from the field and has been a defensive menace in the paint. He’s tallied 15 blocked shots in three games (he sat out in Sacramento).
“Defensively he’s just been sensational,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “The blocks are great, but it’s more to me that he’s always in the right spot and he’s always talking the right language defensively.”
Jordan picked up five blocks in Phoenix on Tuesday and altered countless other shots. Out of his 15 so far this preseason here are the five best:
5. Double Your Pleasure: Jordan got two Utah Jazz players on the same possession in game one of the Clippers’ three-game road trip which began in Salt Lake City on Oct. 12. He slaps away a runner by Alec Burks and after the Jazz retain possession he gets another block. Gordon Hayward quickly fires up a baseline jumper and Enes Kanter collects the offensive rebound after battling with Jordan for the carom. But Jordan recovers and sends Kanter’s flip shot out of bounds near the scorer’s table at midcourt.
4. Jump Hooked: In the Clippers’ preseason opener, Jordan had four blocks, including two on Robin Lopez. Here Lopez tries to fire up a jump hook over the springy Jordan, who times it perfectly and stonewalls the shot almost as soon as it leaves Lopez’s hand.
3. T-Robbed: Staying with the Portland game, the same team the Clippers play in their fifth preseason matchup on Oct. 18, second-year forward Thomas Robinson likely wishes he had not attempted a runner with Jordan patrolling the baseline. The play, in which Jordan almost blocks Robinson’s shot with his forearm, was good enough to also make last week’s Friday Five.
2. Slapped Down: Goran Dragic tried to spin. It did not work. After a long jumper by Jared Dudley, Dragic, the left-handed Suns point guard, pushes the ball up the court with Willie Green guarding him. After sliding around a pick by Marcus Morris, he gets behind Green, but Jordan has his teammate’s back. Dragic spins into the lane and Jordan gobbles up the runner by effectively spiking it straight down.
1. Kan’t Try That: Jordan rejected three shots by Kanter in the Utah game. Two made the list. Clippers broadcaster Michael Smith mentions Jordan’s timing on the play, which is impeccable. Kanter, a 7-foot “shooting 5” as Rivers likes to say, tries a face-up jumper along the right baseline. Jordan not only blocks it, but catches and finds Chris Paul for the outlet.