DeAndre Jordan Aiming to Win Defensive Player of the Year Award

by December 28, 2011
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The “Lob City” theme will sell a lot of game tickets and t-shirts for the Los Angeles Clippers this season and beyond, but for them to really be successful, they need to play defense. Enter DeAndre Jordan, who is looking to become the NBA’s most dominant defender. From Hoopsworld: “Teammate Blake Griffin believes Jordan is growing into one of the best defensive players in the league. ‘I strongly believe DeAndre could be in the running for Defensive Player of the Year,’ said Griffin. ‘He’s our anchor defensively. We rely on him a lot.’ While the Clippers made dramatic moves this offseason including the Paul deal that the team’s media guide calls ‘the biggest trade in franchise history,’ none of the pieces would necessarily be considered ‘defensive stoppers.’ LAC has no Shane Battier, Metta World Peace or Tony Allen type ball hawks. Instead, the Clippers need to play team defense and rely on Jordan to protect the basket. DeAndre has made the Defensive Player of the Year award one of his goals. ‘That’s definitely something I’m pushing for in my career,’ said Jordan. ‘Not just one time – multiple times.’ The Clipper center is still developing with just three years in the league. At 6’11″, 265 pounds, Jordan is surprisingly mobile. While he need to up his rebounding numbers and avoid foul trouble, he’s made clear strides each year in the league, especially last season when an injury to starter Chris Kaman gave DJ his first true opportunity to start and play sizable minutes. Now Kaman is in New Orleans, as part of the package for Paul, and Jordan is averaging eight blocks a game. While he can’t keep up that pace over the next 65, Jordan has embraced the notion that he’s the last line of defense at the basket. ‘I’m the leader of the defense here,’ said DJ. ‘I’m definitely going to continue to work on that side of the floor and help our team win.’ Given that Jordan is the team’s only true center, the Clippers are certainly relying on him to be a major presence.”