Found Objects – 8.4.2011
84. DeAndre Jordan
C, restricted free agent (Los Angeles Clippers)
2010-11 Stats: 7.1 PPG, 68.6 FG%, 45.2 FT%, 7.2 RPG, 0.5 APG, 1.8 BPG
Remember those concerns about Hibbert’s slow feet, and his potential problems in making two or three hard cuts on every defensive possession? That’s not much of a concern with Jordan, which is why he sneaks ahead of Hibbert, even though Jordan’s shooting range does not extend beyond the length of one of his arms.
Jordan is an explosive defender who ranked among the top 100 players in defending every type of play Synergy tracks, even though the Clippers were a below-average defensive team. He might chase too many highlight blocks, but he is generally committed to the right things on defense.
His offense is limited mostly to dunks and putbacks; Synergy credits him with just 54 field-goal attempts all season on either post-ups or pick-and-rolls. But he gets a bit of credit for not sabotaging the offense by chucking bad shots, and his offense should come along.
Knowing your role is important on a team with two scoring studs (Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon), and Jordan should emerge as one of the league’s top defensive centers. That’s a rarity.
79. Chris Kaman
C, Los Angeles Clippers
2010-11 Stats: 12.4 PPG, 47.1 FG%, 75.4 FT%, 7.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.5 BLK
This might be low for a legit 7-footer just one season removed from putting up a 19-9 line and making the All-Star team. But Kaman is starting the age down slope of his career, and he has played more than 56 games just once in the last four seasons. We may have seen his ceiling and, barring a trade, he’s going to lose minutes this year to the rising DeAndre Jordan (No. 84 on this list).
Kaman loves long two-point jumpers, and he has hit more than 40 percent of them — the league average — for four years running. That kind of shooting from a big man has a positive ripple effect because it creates space in the lane and makes the pick-and-pop a good option late in the shot clock.
It also comes with a trade-off: Kaman has never gotten to the line much (averaging 2.9 attempts over his career) and has shot just 48.7 percent from the floor — not an ideal mark for a center.
But he’s a very good rebounder and a solid defender (if not a great one), and he’s a tad more versatile than his teammate Jordan at this very second. Expect Jordan to rank higher than Kaman a year from now, though — perhaps much higher. That said, it will be interesting to see if the Clippers can find Kaman and his expiring contract a new home, where he might be able to own the center position for 36 minutes a night.
• Here’s a Blake Griffin Q&A with NewsOK about his rookie season, the lockout, and the Clippers’ future:
Was there a personal highlight?
There’s a ton. Playing all 82 games, I think, is my biggest accomplishment. It was a goal that I had kind of set personally, and just to be able to be able to be out there and enjoy the whole time was just a blast.
Are you excited about the future of the Clippers?
Definitely. I like the direction that we’re headed, and I like our guys. I think we have a great core of guys, old and young, experienced and a little bit inexperienced. We were very, very, very young last year and had some bad injuries. Hopefully, we can keep the ball rolling and get that playoff spot.
• According to both Blake Griffin and NewsOK, Blake Griffin 2.0 will be much better next season:
“Right now, I’m working on being more of an offensive player,” he said, “adding more and more skill to my game and also getting smarter, being a better defender and … being a better leader. Those are all the things you have to bring together to be one of the best.”
And here everyone in the league thought Griffin already was one of the best.
Be afraid, NBA. Be very afraid.
• Danny Chau of Hardwood Paroxysm examines Bobby Simmons’ lost (2004-2005) season with the Clippers (arguably the best small forward season in past decade for so for Clips).
• Sofoklis Schortsanitis is in the news again, this time for ‘quitting’ on the Greece National team, citing personal reasons (illness to his girlfriend).
• Here are a couple of videos of Chris Kaman talking about the lockout and playing overseas with Germany. If you find that uninteresting, at least check it out for his mean goatee.
• Darius Miles, at the mature age of 29, was arrested for trying to sneak a loaded gun past airport security… Some things never change.