DeAndre Jordan is a high flyer and an integral member of the Clippers’ “Lob City.”
The seven-foot center’s offensive game is mostly limited to impressive dunks—he’s racked up up 104 of them on the season. His total ranks him fourth in the NBA.
During L.A.’s loss to Wizards on Monday night, Jordan gobbled up a career-high 22 rebounds, but only scored seven points on three made field goals. Of course, all three were slams—some more violent than others.
[D.C. Council: setting the scene, rating the starters, assessing the subs, providing the analysis, and catching anything that you may have missed. Unlike the real DC Council, everything here is on the table. Game No. 38, Washington Wizards at Los Angeles Clippers; contributor: Conor Dirks, Adam Rubin (making his TAI debut), and Kyle Weidie from behind the television screen.]
When the Washington Wizards allowed the Los Angeles Clippers to come into the Verizon Center on February 4 and absolutely disrespect them by 26 points, it was hardly a shocker. The Wizards were coming off three consecutive losses, the third being a listless performance against lowly Raptors in Toronto. The Clippers, on the other hand, had won four out of five, including two tough victories in Oklahoma City and Denver. Polishing off the Wizards was merely a formality. However, as these teams face off in the Staples Center this evening, their respective lead-ins are slightly different. The Clippers are still rolling along (despite a tough loss in Dallas on Monday), but they are doing so without Chauncey Billups, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. The Wizards, meanwhile, have won two straight road games over Detroit and Portland by at least 15 points–a franchise first. The one constant has been John Wall, who seems to have learned what Chris Paul already knows: Switching speeds is more important than just having speed. Before the Wizards attempt to prove they belong on the same court with the Clippers, Nick Flynt (@clipperblognick) of the True Hoop Network’s ClipperBlog.com, along with Sam Permutt (@sammyvert) and yours truly, Rashad Mobley (@rashad20) of Truth About It, have three questions to answer.
#1) The 17-9 Los Angeles Clippers are playing well because of, or in spite of, Coach Vinny Del Negro?
NICK FLYNT: I’m leaning on the side of “in spite of.” It’s almost impossible for a coach to screw up with talent like Del Negro has with the Clippers, but the defensive system certainly isn’t making the roster greater than the sum of its parts, and some of the lineups Vinny has rolled out for extended periods have been…unfortunate.
SAM PERMUTT: Having a beloved floor general who also happens to be one of the best guards in the league leading your team (CP3) undoubtedly makes coaching significantly easier. The same can be said for having freak-athletes who have the desire and focus to work hard every day (Blake and DeAndre) and proven veterans (Chauncey, Caron). In a way, all these positives make Del Negro’s job that much tougher when trying to measure his impact. He’s supposed to win, and it can be credited to the personnel that almost every team in the league (except the Heat) would gladly exchange for. At the end of the day, if Del Negro leads the Clippers deep into the playoffs, he’ll be considered a success.
Between hitting up the John Legend concert Friday night, going out for some fresh oysters at Hank’s Oyster Bar on Saturday, followed by a night on the town (really, the oysters at Hank’s, especially the ones from Fanny Bay, BC, Canada, were awesome), and then getting trounced in softball on Sunday afternoon (honestly, I think the final score was 24-2), I didn’t have much time to dedicate to the Wizards this past weekend.
I was able to make it through the T-Wolves game Sunday night, and take notes on it, but fell into a slumber before I was able to watch the Wizards against the Clippers or Knicks, both of which, I understand, were much better efforts from the D.C. boys. Oh, and Andray Blatche didn’t play in either game. Nick Young sat out of Sunday’s game against New York as well.
I aim to watch both of the remaining games tonight and subsequently post notes/observations, and then hand out some summer league grades. But until then, here’s the big media dump on what others have said: