Doc Rivers calls yet another DeAndre Jordan All-Star snub ‘a travesty’

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

When Anthony Davis (shoulder sprain) of New Orleans on Wednesday pulled out of the Feb. 15 All-Star game in New York City, chances looked good that NBA commissioner Adam Silver would select DeAndre Jordan to replace him. Instead, Silver picked Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.

Jordan on Wednesday had his third 20-20 game in nine days, coming away with 24 points and 20 rebounds in a 110-95 victory over the Houston Rockets. It was his sixth game of the season with at least 20 rebounds. Rivers was not one bit happy with Silver’s decision. But he didn’t blame Nowitzki.
“Well, I don’t look at it as Dirk being selected over him, I just think D.J. should be on the All-Star team,” said Rivers, whose 35-19 team takes a two-game winning streak into the All-Star break. “I think it’s a travesty, I really do.
“Dirk deserves to be on the All-Star team every year, as far as I’m concerned. So you can never have anything against him. He’s been a great player throughout his career. I just think a guy that’s getting 27 and 22 and 20s and 20s and is not on the team …”
Jordan had 27 points and 22 rebounds in Monday’s win at Dallas. Rivers paused for a moment, and continued.
“What I keep saying about D.J. that I don’t like is, you play both sides of the floor and just the one side of the floor keeps getting all the credit, and not the other side of the floor,” Rivers said. “And the other side is more important. There has never been a team that won a championship without being a decent defensive team or a great defensive team.
“Yet that side keeps getting forgotten about in the All-Star game. I think every year they should put the best defender on. They put the best offensive player on, every year. They should think about putting the best defensive player on every year on both sides – East and the West. Then that would be solved.”

Jordan was just 12th in fan voting for frontcourt players and was not picked as a reserve by Western Conference coaches. Nowitzki was ninth in fan voting.

Jordan, in his seventh season, has never made an All-Star team. But he suggested he’s not going to lose any sleep over this latest snub.

“No,” he said, when asked if he was frustrated. “Next year I just have to average 20 points a game. I’m happy for Dirk. At this point, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve moved on. It’s cool.”

Jordan is averaging a league-high 13.8 rebounds and 2.35 blocks, second to Davis’ 2.74. But Jordan averages just 10.7 points and is a terrible free-throw shooter (41.4 percent). Nowitzki averages 18.3 points and 6.0 rebounds.

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 110-95 victory over the Houston Rockets

DeAndre Jordan plays defense on Josh Smith of the Rockets/Photo by Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

- DeAndre Jordan had 20 rebounds, his sixth game of the season with at least 20 and third in the past week and a half. Yet, when New Orleans’ Anthony Davis on Wednesday declared himself out of the All-Star game, NBA commissioner Adam Silver selected Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki to replace Davis instead of Jordan. Coach Doc Rivers was upset about this after the game, and for good reason. It’s about time Silver realized how valuable Jordan is to his team as the beastly rebounder and defensive wizard he has become.

- It’s true that Houston was without post Dwight Howard (knee). But the Clippers were without Blake Griffin (elbow), and Griffin is probably more valuable to the Clippers than Howard is to the Rockets. That said, this was a very good victory for the Clippers, who never trailed by more than four points and led by as many as the final margin – 15 points.

- Jamal Crawford can be having an off-night shooting the ball and be Mr. Clutch on that same night, like he was in this one when he banked in a 30-foot 3-pointer to give the Clippers an 89-81 lead. The Rockets never got closer than five points after that. Crawford scored 20 points, but shot just 6 of 15 from the field, 1 of 4 from 3-point range.

- Griffin has missed the past three games with his elbow injury, and the Clippers have won two of them, including the past two. For a team coming off a tough 3-5 Grammy trip, taking two victories into the All-Star break figures to give it a lift.

- They say things can become contagious in a sporting event. Such as poor shooting. The teams combined to shoot 19.4 percent (13 of 67) from 3-point range. The Rockets were 9 of 45 (20 percent), the Clippers were 4 of 22 (18.2 percent). Just awful. But it feels worse for Houston because it lost.

 

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VIDEO: Check out this long 3-pointer by Jamal Crawford in win over Rockets

Jamal Crawford is not shy launching long shots on the basketball court. He banked in this 30-foot 3-pointer that gave the Clippers an 89-81 lead over the Houston Rockets early in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s 110-95 Clippers victory at Staples Center. Crawford scored 20 points on 6 of 15 shooting. But he was just 1 of 4 from 3-point range. Here is the one long shot he made:

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Jamal Crawford says everyone has to find what he can do better to help team

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

The pressure is on the Clippers (34-19). They are currently sixth in the Western Conference standings and would love to move into the top four so they can play a first-round playoff series with homecourt advantage and so they can avoid playing either first-place Golden State or second-place Memphis in the first round, which would happen if they fall to seventh or eighth in the West.

With Blake Griffin (elbow) out at least a month, and with a brutal stretch of 14 games coming up against mostly playoff teams, none of this is going to be easy. The key, sixth-man Jamal Crawford suggested, us unity.

Soul-searching. You’ve got to look deep,” Crawford said after his team won Monday at Dallas to complete a 3-5 Grammy road trip. “You have to look in the mirror, take a step back and see what you can do better. Collectively, you have to have each others’ backs.”

 

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Doc Rivers: Dean Smith was much more than a good basketball coach

Michael Jordan

Dean Smith, center, is flanked by current North Carolina coach Roy Williams and Michael Jordan/Photo by Associated Press

 

When legendary North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith died Saturday, he was remembered throughout the country by those who knew him and by those who played for him. Clippers coach Doc Rivers was one of many who said that Smith was much more than one of the greatest college basketball coaches in history.

“It’s a sad day,” Rivers said Sunday after his team was beaten 131-108 at Oklahoma City. “Obviously, we lost a giant. The thing I liked the most about Dean – we always talk about his coaching because we know he was a great coach – but I just thought he was a great leader of people. He would lead his teammates or all the guys that he coached. You have to be around those guys to understand that. But you really get the impact that he had on them.”

Smith, who was three weeks shy of his 84th birthday, was head coach of the Tar Heels from 1961-97. He had 879 victories, fourth-best among Division I men’s coaches.

 

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Jamal Crawford says DeAndre Jordan has respect of his peers and coaches

DeAndre Jordan/Photo by Associated Press

 

DeAndre Jordan had 22 points and a career-high 27 rebounds Monday in the Clippers’ 115-98 victory at Dallas. Another All-Star performance by a player not on the Western Conference All-Star team.
“He should be in the All-Star game (Feb. 15),” teammate Jamal Crawford said of Jordan. “He’s an All-Star who’s not playing in the All-Star game. As long as he has the respect of his peers and his coaches, that’s all that matters.”

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Five things to take from Clippers’ 115-98 victory Monday over host Dallas

DeAndre Jordan pulled down 27 rebounds in Monday’s victory at Dallas/Photo by Associated Press

 

- Yes, it is somewhat amazing to think the Clippers went into Dallas without Blake Griffin and beat the Mavericks by 17 points on their home court. But before you get too excited, keep in mind Dallas lost starting center Tyson Chandler to an ankle injury 39 seconds into the game. Monta Ellis, the starting shooting guard, played only four minutes after sustaining a hip injury. Ellis averages a team-high 20 points and did not score, Chandler averages 10.7 points and a team-high 11.8 rebounds and he had one point and zero rebounds. That’s not to mention Mavericks starting point guard Rajon Rondo was already out with an orbital bone fracture.

- DeAndre Jordan took full advantage of not having to deal with Chandler by coming away with a career-high 27 rebounds. He also scored 22 points with three blocks. Sure, he would have had more difficulty doing that with Chandler playing, but 27 rebounds is 27 rebounds and it’s just a beautiful thing to watch any player do that.

- Chris Paul. He really came through when his team needed him most. He scored 25 points, doled out 13 assists, grabbed six rebounds and had two steals with three turnovers in 40 minutes.

- Having J.J. Redick back after he missed the previous three games with back spasms helped, for sure. He scored 15 points while making 5 of 12 from the field, but he was 3 of 4 from 3-point range. He also had three assists and no turnovers.

- It’s difficult to tell how much of a positive effect this might have on the team. Yes, winning meant the Clippers didn’t have to come home 2-6 from the Grammy trip. Instead, they finished 3-5. But the realization of not having Griffin – out at least three weeks and probably more after having surgery Monday to remove a staph infection in his right elbow – may set in and this win may not mean much at all.  One thing’s for sure, it moved the Clippers (34-19) to within a half-game of fifth-place Dallas (35-19) in the Western Conference standings.

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Clippers win by 17 points at Dallas in their second game sans Blake Griffin

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan had a whopping 27 rebounds in Monday’s victory at Dallas/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

It didn’t figure the Clippers could go into Dallas and beat the Mavericks by 17 points without Blake Griffin. But that’s what they did Monday, winning 115-98 at American Airlines Arena in Dallas.

Perhaps Dallas figured the same thing, that the Clippers – losers of four in a row going in – would be easy prey in their second game without Griffin, who had elbow surgery Monday and is out at least three weeks. Not the case as the Clippers broke that losing streak by having three players score more than 20 points. One of them was DeAndre Jordan, who scored 22 and also pulled down a whopping 27 rebounds while blocking three shots.

Chris Paul, who said after Sunday’s 23-point loss at Oklahoma City that everyone would have to step up in Griffin’s absence, scored 25 points to go along with 13 assists and six rebounds. Jamal Crawford scored 22 points off the bench. J.J. Redick returned after missing three games because of back spasms to score 15 points, Matt Barnes scored 12 and Hedo Turkoglu nine.

Charlie Villanueva led Dallas (35-19) with 26 points off the bench and Dirk Nowitzki scored 18.

This was the final game of the long Grammy road trip, during which the Clippers (34-19) went 3-5.

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