Over at Bleacher Report, I wrote about the struggles the Clippers defense has had to start the season, the improvement over the past game-and-a-half and why the best bet to save the team is DeAndre Jordan. Click here to read the full piece. Here is an excerpt:
Jordan has anchored the Clippers to the league’s 21st-ranked defense through seven games, though the poor results aren’t fully DJ’s fault.
The wing defenders have let perimeter ball-handlers slide by them with Michael Jackson-like grace. Opponents are getting to the rim whenever they want, and once they get there, there’s not much for Jordan to do.
That’s partly why the Clippers are allowing ghastly 60.5 percent shooting at the rim, good for worst in the league, even with a center who’s thought of as a world-class paint protector.
It’s not all on the wings, though. Jordan also hasn’t been putting himself or his team in a position to succeed, straying from the paint more often than before. He hasn’t been the anchor he was a year ago. And like with his improvement, his regression isn’t physical. It’s all stylistic.
One of the reasons Jordan bolted his way into the top-10 NBA Defenders Club last season was because of his ability to contain and anchor, two necessary traits for a dominant defensive center.