Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan won’t be changing free throw form


Sep 25, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) and center DeAndre Jordan (6) answer questions during media day at the Clipper Training Facility in Playa Vista. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers is without doubt one of the best defensive players in the NBA, and has an All-Defensive first team title from last season to prove it. However, when it comes to his offensive abilities, they don’t stretch far beyond dunking and catching alley-oops without even breaking a sweat. Probably more than anything else, though, the main issue with Jordan’s offense is his worrying 39.7 percent free throw shooting.

His poor accuracy from the charity stripe resulted in the Hack-a-Jordan strategy being enforced too often last season — especially in the playoffs — and is something that needs improving immediately if Jordan wants to become a more reliable option for the Clippers during close fourth quarters.

Now that the Clippers’ training camp has started, the time for Jordan to work on his free throw shooting before the start of the season is starting to run out, meaning you’d expect him to have made some changes to a shooting form that clearly isn’t very successful. Because even though some players just never seem to develop any kind of consistency from the line — big centers such as Dwight Howard and Shaquille O’Neal are common culprits — there are more ways to improve than just shooting thousands of free throws and hoping for something to change.

With that approach in mind, Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times has revealed that Jordan isn’t making any changes to his free throw form.

Chief among the possible ways to improve from the line is obviously changing shooting form, which is often the simplest answer when a player needs to adjust their form in any aspect of shooting.

Just take Blake Griffin, for example. He entered the league as a high-flying dunk machine and frightening power forward, but he only attempted 15.4 percent of his shots from 16 feet out while making just 33.5 percent of them. Fast-forward to 2014-15 after Griffin put in countless hours of work improving his form to release the ball at the top of his jump, and he became accurate enough to attempt 37.8 percent of his shots from the same distance and buried 40.4 percent of them. That’s over a third of his offense from 16 feet out, which just goes to show how a player tweaking their shooting form and putting in enough practice can pay off.

As for DeAndre Jordan, though, that clear isn’t the case right now. Hopefully for the Clippers he can at least get closer to 50 percent from the line this season.

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However, not all hope is lost for when opponents employ the Hack-a-Jordan strategy. New back-up center Cole Aldrich is a major upgrade when it comes to free throw shooting, as he’s shot a far more efficient 78 percent from the line throughout his career. On top of that, he’s more than capable to serve as a defensive anchor when Jordan is on the bench, after Aldrich put together per 36 minute averages of 12.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks last season.

Aldrich can’t save the Clippers from DeAndre Jordan’s free throw woes, but at least he can save their interior defense from being destroyed when teams get crafty with the Hack-a-Jordan strategy.

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