Clippers-Rockets Game 2 Preview: What We’ve Learned So Far

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DeAndre Jordan vs. Dwight Howard: The battle of the paint

May 4, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) and guard Corey Brewer (33) try to steal the ball from Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) in the second quarter in game one of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The matchup between DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard should continue to create entertaining battles in the paint for as long as this series lasts. Whether they’re taking off to haul in a rebound or just trying to out-do each other with an overly emphatic rejection, it’s going to be worthy of your attention.

They’re easily two of the most athletic big men the league has ever seen, and at both ends of the floor they can execute powerful plays that will leave any crowd jumping out their seats.

Howard is more important to his team’s offense, and before this season (in which he only played 41 games) he averaged 18.3 points per game during his first year with the Rockets in 2013-14. Jordan, on the other hand, averaged just 11.5 points a game this year.

However, if you know the Clippers, you’ll know that that couldn’t be more irrelevant. He’s led the league in rebounding the last two seasons and is the defensive anchor that L.A. desperately need him to be.

In game one, Howard scored 22 points compared to Jordan’s 10, and even added one more block as he ended the night with 5. So even though Jordan won the rebounding competition with 13, it looks like Howard won the battle of the paint in game one.

This should be one of the key matchups to watch all series, and as good as these teams are from outside, it will go a long way in deciding how well they perform in the paint.