30-for-30: How Good Can DeAndre Jordan Be?


Since Chris Paul’s arrival, DeAndre Jordan has been the designated third fiddle to Paul and Blake Griffin — and it’s not for lack of potential skill, Griffin and Paul are just better basketball players.

Those two are highly-touted, highly-drafted, and highly-efficient performers, but lost in the shuffle, we often forget DeAndre is the most important thing: a highly-efficient performer.

Name value has dictated to us that Blake and Chris are unequivocally better than Jordan; while this may very well be a fact, those three even being on the same team depletes DeAndre’s visible value from casual to complete fan. In reality, DeAndre has the potential to be nearly, if not as, valuable as his successful counterparts.

Right off the (not baseball) bat, just looking at his raw statistics from last season show his unseen dominance last season:

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It’s no secret that DeAndre is more of a defensive player while Blake is more of an offensive player. However, in any capacity, DeAndre’s rankings show he is just as efficient (if not more) as Blake Griffin, but in his own equally important area of the game.

Now, lets clear something up: Blake Griffin is still the better player. My point is that DeAndre has the potential to be just as important to a game as Blake is.

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  • I’m the first guy to say stats aren’t everything. I love Joakim Noah after all. They really aren’t. What we don’t see on the stat sheet is the frustrating plays DeAndre has the unending capability to unload like webs popping  out Spider Man’s hands. What we don’t see on the stat sheet is DeAndre’s spacing and awareness issues. What we don’t see on the stat sheet is DeAndre’s Hack-A-Shaq-esque fouling victimization — his positives must carry with him resulting in major losses.

    But, we also don’t see in the stat sheet his immovable paint presence that causes teams to change their game plan. What we don’t see on the stat sheet is his ability to run the court as well as any big man.

    Point is, stats paints a picture, performance paints a masterpiece.

    You know what else is a masterpiece? His dunking. Chris Paul is the mayor of Lob City, and DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin are the tag team champions in the towns local wrestling promotion. I know Brandon Knight still sees his gym shorts at night. The way DeAndre walks away after the dunk looks like Brandon’s head chaffed the inside of his legs. And you know what, it probably did. Something the stat sheet doesn’t show us is those breathtaking plays, something that is vital to team morale and team spirit — raising theirs, killing the other teams.

    Next year, I would hope Jordan’s offensive numbers improve. Then, and only then, can we start looking for his ceiling; because his defensive numbers and performance is already there. His potential is limitless … but potential is often a buzzword used to generate unneeded hype. I really, truly mean potential as defined in Oxford’s dictionary, and by that, Jordan can become a top center in this league with valid progression.

    How good can he be? The best. But it’ll take time that I don’t know if the Clippers can deal with, despite his contract signing.