At 43-19, they currently have the third-best record in the West, trailing only the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder. They obviously have two superstars in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but they also have a slew of solid role players.
One of those role players is their starting center, DeAndre Jordan. For the season, Jordan is averaging a career-high 8.8 points per game, along with seven rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He’s also shooting a terrific 61.4 percent from the floor. For a guy that’s not really relied upon offensively, those are more than solid stats.
However, the odd thing about Jordan is that he plays just 24.1 minutes per game. The perception is that he’s sometimes an offensive liability. Also, he’s a horrific free-throw shooter, shooting just 41.3 percent from the charity stripe, so that makes him a less attractive option in crunch-time situations.
But that really shouldn’t be the case.
Jordan should be given more opportunity to shine for the Clippers. He’s shown an obvious improvement in his offensive game this season. He’s by no means Hakeem Olajuwon, but he’s competent enough to hold his own.
More than that though, he gives the Clippers such a boost on the defensive end that makes him incredibly valuable. He changes and blocks shots around the rim, which makes life on perimeter and interior defenders alike easier.
Plus, Jordan is still just 24-years old. If the Clippers want to blossom into legitimate contenders for an NBA Championship, they can’t continue to have half-faith in Jordan and not give him the opportunity to fully develop. They either need to go all-in or abandon using him completely.
Jordan has shown vast improvement this season and his play has reflected that; however, his workload hasn’t. If the Clippers are serious about being one of the best teams in the league, they should look to give Jordan more opportunities and more experience playing big minutes.
Whether it be through his further development or through learning that he can’t cut it, the team will benefit from doing so.