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Clippers' DeAndre Jordan gets the low-down on double teams

Jordan isn't considered a scoring threat, so the Clippers center was surprised when Denver doubled him Thursday. Now he must learn how to combat the tactic.

October 27, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • DeAndre Jordan, shown battling for a rebound with Denver's Kosta Koufos and Andre Iguodala, has been working on passing out of double teams since Thursday night's game against the Nuggets.
DeAndre Jordan, shown battling for a rebound with Denver's Kosta… (Chris Schneider / Associated…)

DeAndre Jordan got the ball in the low post against Denver on Thursday night when suddenly the Nuggets double teamed the Clippers' young center. A few plays later, Jordan got the ball down low and was double teamed again.

Jordan admitted after practice Saturday that he was startled by the attention from the Nuggets.

But it was also an instructive moment for Jordan.

"After the game, Chauncey [Billups] told me, 'I can tell you've never been double teamed in the NBA,'" Jordan said, smiling. "I was like, 'Yeah, you think?' After the game, they [teammates] said I was like doing a five-step drop like a quarterback. I wanted to just pick up the ball and run away, because I've never seen that before. I was like, 'I know I'm about to travel.' I got scared."

The 6-11, 265-pound Jordan watched film after the game and saw ways he could pass the ball when the double team arrives.

Then during practice Saturday, Jordan said the team worked with the big men on double teams and ways to get the ball out of the post.

"I'm a pretty good passer," Jordan said. "But not when I'm not ready for it and not when I'm scared. But [the Nuggets] just ran at me and I didn't know if they were going to flagrant-foul me."

Jordan said he had not faced a double team "since high school."

Jordan said he normally catches the ball in the low post with his back to the basket, unaware exactly where the basket is, just that it is within his offensive range.

The plan now is for him to catch the ball "sideways" so he can see where the basket is, which would allow him to spot where the double team is coming from.

"If I'm able to see the floor," Jordan said, "I can get [the ball] out of there quicker."

In six exhibition games, Jordan averaged 12.3 points on 67.8% shooting.

If Jordan sustains this level of production during the regular season, the Clippers could have five offensive weapons on the court.

"When he gets low-post position, especially on the right box, he's got a nice little right jump hook," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Everyone has got to be a threat out there."


Matt Barnes didn't practice Saturday because of a twisted right ankle. But Del Negro said Barnes "will be fine" and able to play in the season opener Wednesday night against Memphis at Staples Center. . . . The Clippers waived guard Marqus Blakely Saturday, leaving the team with the league maximum of 15 players.

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