Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had a pretty eventful summer, what with his dramatic decision to renege on a free-agent agreement to join the Dallas Mavericks and return to his colleagues in red, white, and blue. While Jordan still has to deal with several off-court issues, including his relationship with Chris Paul, it’s a safe bet that a return to the court will help Jordan transition from this offseason’s media circus and into a more familiar role with the Clippers. Real basketball games tend to normalize things.
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Jordan got off to a pretty good start in the Clippers’ preseason opener against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. The 27-year-old center put up 15 points (6-of-7 FG, 3-of-5 FT), 12 rebounds, and three blocks in just 26 minutes as the Clippers won 103-96. Not surprisingly, several of his buckets came via alley-oops from Chris Paul. Take a look:
Jordan reportedly desired a larger role in the offense when meeting with free-agent suitors this summer, which seemed questionable given his lack of traditional post moves. However, these highlights suggest that the Clippers could get Jordan more touches on lobs if they set their mind to it. Jumping high and finishing lobs is not typically considered a skill, but it’s a legitimate weapon for an offense that features Paul.
Incidentally, Paul had nine assists in only 22 minutes while Paul Pierce scored five points on 1-of-4 shooting in his unofficial Clippers debut. Fellow additions Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith combined for 19 points on 7-of-23 shooting off the bench. Nuggets rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay struggled with 14 points on 5-of-18 shooting and eight turnovers to only three assists.
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