Clippers: Doc says DeAndre Jordan’s passing has improved


May 4, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) dribbles against Houston Rockets in game one of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Los Angeles Clippers won 117 to 101. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Jordan brings immense athleticism, defense, and unparalleled rebounding ability to the Los Angeles Clippers. Offensive finesse and passing, on the other hand, has never really been something in his repertoire. When it comes to throwing down terrifying alley-oops, there’s no center who’s better. But when it comes to passing and scoring from the post, you’d be far better off taking someone like Marc Gasol or DeMarcus Cousins.

However, with all the success we’ve heard of from the Clippers’ training camp so far, one unexpected note from day three is that DeAndre Jordan’s passing has improved.

As has been reported by Rowan Kavner of, Doc Rivers has been impressed with Jordan’s improved passing from the post:

"“DJ’s better, DJ’s in great shape, he’s playing terrific. I guess DJ’s passing has surprised me this year. He’s really making great passes from the post, and we haven’t seen that.”"

Even if it’s only training camp, Doc commenting that Jordan’s passing has seemingly improved since the end of last season already is an encouraging sign for the Clippers. With their new weapons such as Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith and Paul Pierce, their second unit can carry far more of the offensive load than last season, meaning their is less pressure on Jordan to expand his game and develop a post-up skill set — even though it would be ideal and incredibly beneficial to get him more involved in the offense.

That being said, if he can improve his passing from the post to connect better with Blake Griffin down-low or kick the ball out to shooters on the perimeter — rather than having to let Griffin control the entire offense inside — it could add even more movement and diversity to the Clippers’ league best offense.

What a frightening thought for L.A.’s opponents.

Apr 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) reacts against the San Antonio Spurs in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. The Spurs defeated the Clippers 111-107 to take a 3-2 lead. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Jordan dominated the paint after leading the league in rebounds for the second straight year with a career high 15 per game, whilst adding 2.2 blocks a night to further establish himself as a high-flying defensive force. As a result, he earned himself the title of an All-Defensive first team member. With that in mind, it seems that Jordan is only just starting to approach his potential at 26 years old.

In terms of his passing, though, there’s far more room for improvement. Jordan maintained control of the ball well after recording only 1.4 turnovers per 36 minutes (the lowest mark of his seven year career), but whilst he could drop the ball off to Griffin at times in the paint, he only averaged 0.8 assists per game. On top of that, passing from the post as a reliable and accurate option is something we haven’t really seen from Jordan yet.

He only produced 1.8 points per game with his assists last season, which looks even smaller in comparison to the power forward-point guard type numbers of Griffin, who recorded a mark of 12.6 in the same statistic.

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Jordan’s post game right now mainly consists of the occasional hook shot or just being positioned so low on the block that he can simply turn and dunk right over his defender. As is the case with the rest of his game, it’s based on athleticism more than skill.

So, if he can add a little more passing to his post work as Doc has mentioned, it may even help the Clippers improve on their 3rd place ranking in assists per game. Even if it’s just the occasional pass to J.J. Redick as he darts around high-screens from Griffin, or dishing the ball to Stephenson as he cuts to the basket, Jordan has the perfect variety of weapons around him to continue the gradual development of his passing after training camp.

First and foremost, though, DeAndre Jordan is the Clippers’ defensive anchor. But if he can add a touch of post passing to his game, it’s scary to think how good this offense can become.

Next: Lance Stephenson says Clippers' scrimmages feel like All-Star games