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Clippers think DeAndre Jordan is just getting started

Coach Vinny Del Negro says there are plenty of ways for the center to be more productive.

March 01, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, left, blocks a shot by Washington's Nick Young during a game last month. Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro is eager to see Jordan take his game to another level.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, left, blocks a shot by Washington's… (Paul Buck / EPA )

Reporting from Sacramento — Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is close to averaging a double-double, with his points and rebounds per game not that far from that standard.

It's not as if the Clippers are pressuring Jordan to be a double-double player, but they will take it if he can deliver.

Jordan was averaging 9.2 rebounds and 8.2 points before the Clippers played the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.

"When he plays with high energy and he gets so many rebounds, he's going to have great opportunities to get rebounds off the glass and to score that way," Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Then obviously when they double-team Blake [Griffin], just DeAndre being around the basket is a way for him to make them [opponents] pay for the double team by punching in on the weak side."

Del Negro said there are plenty of ways for Jordan to be more productive.

He posted double-doubles in his previous two games before playing the Kings and had at least 11 rebounds in three consecutive games.

Del Negro said Jordan can run the court more on the fastbreak, get in position for lobs from Chris Paul, attack the backboard on offense and post up strong.

"He's just starting to play," Del Negro said. "But when he's active with his energy and athleticism, he affects the game in a positive way.

"What you look for is his consistency where you know every night you what you're going to get. Every night, you can always bring a positive attitude, the energy, the hustle. It's not only his ability to block shots, but the altering of shots. And that's not just D.J. That's everybody knowing what their role is and making sure they do it on a consistent basis."

Clippers to send Leslie to D-League

The Clippers plan to send rookie guard Travis Leslie to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League on Saturday.

Leslie is expected to play Saturday for the Jam, which has back-to-back games at Reno this weekend.

Leslie, a 6-foot-4 rookie guard out of Georgia who was drafted in the second round, has appeared in eight games for the Clippers, averaging 1.5 points on 38.5% shooting in 4.9 minutes per game.

The Clippers like his talent and consider him an athletic player who needs more playing time to develop.

Leslie is not scheduled to rejoin the team until it returns from the six-game trip that began Thursday.

"We just want to give him a chance to play," Del Negro said. "This is a good opportunity for him with us being on a long road trip to go down and get some minutes and to work on his game."

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