Clippers Dominate Spurs 107-92: The 5 Things We Learned

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DeAndre Jordan: Defensive Player of the Year?

Apr 19, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter (22) goes a rebound against Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) and forward Matt Barnes (22) in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

No, he won’t be Defensive Player of the Year. That award will most likely go to (and should go to) Draymond Green. He’s been the fundamental player in allowing the Golden State Warriors to become the NBA’s best defensive team.

However, DeAndre Jordan could well become the defensive player of this series.

Jordan got started as the Clippers’ key defender last night by rejecting a Tim Duncan layup less than a minute into the game. From then on, he added another 3 blocks in the first half.

As always, Jordan’s rebounding was potent as ever. He hauled in 14 boards, and along with Griffin the Clippers’ starting frontcourt had 26 between them.

The highlight of DeAndre’s night was his block on Manu Ginobili, which he sent flying into the stands before falling back to earth as crazed as ever.

If his awareness is still high throughout this series, and he observes the movements of the Spurs’ guards as move around the perimeter and edge towards the basket, then Jordan’s shot blocking can have a major impact on the outcome of this series.

Furthermore, with Duncan still being San Antonio’s third leading scorer with 13.9 points per game this year, Jordan will need to step up and limit him in the post as much as possible. And by helping to hold Duncan to only 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting, he’s off to a guard start.