DeAndre Jordan shot just 43 percent from the free-throw line this season/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is trying to get something on paper that could make him the most popular commissioner in the history of the league.
Silver spoke with reporters on Thursday in New York City. According to a story published by Sports Illustrated, Silver is going to do what he can to get a rule in place that will combat the more-than-awful Hack-a-Shaq strategy that is instituted regularly against the Clippers and their poor free-throw shooting center DeAndre Jordan.
“It’s not unanimous, but there is clearly an emerging consensus, both among the members of the competition committee and the owners, who we made a presentation to at last week’s meetings, that we need to address the situation,” Silver said. “I think, as Kiki (VanDeWeghe) said, exactly what the new rule should be is still open for debate. At least I’m hoping that between now and when the owners next meet in July we can create and form a consensus as to what a change in the rule should be.”
(VanDeWeghe is vice-president of basketball operations for the NBA).
Silver offered up a statistic that showed it takes only three or more Hack-a-Shaq fouls to add 11 minutes to a given game.
J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers on Wednesday night led the Portland Trail Blazers by as many as 15 points in the first half of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series at Staples Center. By the time halftime rolled around, the Clippers held just a 47-43 advantage over Portland, which had to be feeling good heading into its locker room.
J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 13 points, Blake Griffin scored eight on 2 of 7 shooting and Chris Paul had seven points and three assists after playing just 14 minutes because of three personal fouls. DeAndre Jordan didn’t score, but he had 10 rebounds.
Mason Plumlee and C.J. McCollum scored 11 points apiece for Portland. Point guard Damian Lillard had six points, but shot just 2 of 10.
The Clippers shot 42.2 percent from the field, the Trail Blazers shot 34 percent.
Portland coach Terry Stotts used the Hack-a-DJ strategy late when his team was down big in its 115-95 loss to the Clippers in Game 1 on Sunday night/AP photo by Jae C. Hong
– Blake Griffin played his best game since returning April 3 following a 45-game absence because of injuries and suspension. Griffin scored 19 points on 5 of 10 shooting. He also grabbed 12 rebounds, doled out six assists, made one steal and blocked one shot. He committed just one personal foul and two turnovers in nearly 32 minutes. He also had several spectacular, high-flying dunks.
– The Clippers played very well on defense, limiting the Trail Blazers to just 39.8-percent shooting – 33.3 percent (10 of 30) from beyond the arc. Starting guards Damian Lillard (7 of 17) and C.J. McCollum (3 of 11) shot a combined 10 of 28 (35.7 percent).
– The Clippers were concerned about how they would do in the rebounding department against the Trail Blazers. This was a good start as the Clippers out-rebounded Portland 48-40 overall, 11-10 on the offensive glass. The Clippers made the most of their offensive rebounds, scoring 16 second-chance points to just five for Portland.
– Chris Paul not only played fine defense, he had a heck of an offensive game. Paul scored a game-high 28 points. He shot 10 of 19, 2 of 5 from distance. Paul also made all six of his free throws, doled out 11 assists and made two steals. Other than that, he didn’t do a thing.
– Hack-a-DJ was in effect in this one, especially down the stretch even though the Clippers led big. DeAndre Jordan ended up making 8 of 18 from the free-throw line. That’s only 44.4 percent. That’s still better than his regular-season percentage of 43.0. That’s not to mention the tactic did not help the Trail Blazers one bit.
DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
How Clippers guards Chris Paul and J.J. Redick do against Portland guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, as well as how the Clippers rebound against the better-rebounding Trail Blazers are two key components of the first-round playoff series between the teams.
However, Hack-a-DJ could also figure prominently. Portland coach Terry Stotts is not afraid to use the tactic, which is fouling poor free-throw shooting Clippers center DeAndre Jordan on purpose. Nor should he be, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before the teams tipped off for Game 1 on Sunday night at Staples Center.
“I mean, he should use it,” Rivers said. “There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s part of the rules still, never had a problem with guys doing it. We’ve been pretty successful when guys have done it. There have been a couple of times – like in San Antonio one game, probably two or three times where it actually affected us. But overall, it’s been pretty good for us.”
Blake Griffin, right, of the Clippers battles with Memphis’ Jarell Martin during the first half of their game Tuesday at Staples Center/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill
The Clippers this season made the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. They lost in the first round in 2011-12 and in the second (Western Conference semifinals) the next three.
Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan have all been on the team during this time. Griffin was asked Saturday at practice if he believes his team has underachieved in the playoffs, or if it was just beaten by teams so much better than the Clippers.
Griffin responded in kind.
“I wouldn’t say so much better,” said Griffin, whose Clippers will take on Portland in Game 1 of their first-round series Sunday night at 7:30 at Staples Center. “We made some mistakes here and there, but the thing for us is learning from those mistakes. We had a tough first-round matchup last year, did some great things and beat a (San Antonio) team that was very, very good. Then we didn’t have as much success in the second round. Underachieving is kind of a … I wouldn’t use that word. But, we expect to go farther, we expect to do better, just like everybody else expects to do better, expects to go farther.”
DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers, left, goes against Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks/Associated Press file photo
The Clippers lost to Portland in their first game this season, but defeated the Trail Blazers the final three for a 3-1 season edge. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Clippers will have additional confidence when they square off with Portland in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Game 1 is Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center.
“We’re confident,” Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said. “But it’s different in the playoffs. You have to go win games on the road. It’s a different environment. It’s tougher. But I feel like when we’re a healthy team, we can beat anybody. We have so much depth now, it’s going to be fun.”