DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
Amid the injuries that have taken Chris Paul and Blake Griffin out of the L.A. Clippers’ first-round playoff series with the Portland Trail Blazers, has been the rebounding prowess of Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.
Jordan on Friday entered Game 6 at Moda Center in Portland with a chance to become the first player since 2008 to grab at least 15 rebounds in five consecutive playoff games. San Antonio’s Tim Duncan did it when he pulled down 18, 16, 21, 17 and 15 in the Spurs’ 4-1 Western Conference finals series loss to the Lakers in ’08. Jordan had 12 rebounds in Game 1 of this series. He since has had 18, 16, 15 and 17.
Coach Doc Rivers has been impressed.
“He’s been great,” said Rivers, whose team was down 3-2 before Friday. “I mean, D.J.’s been great all year, not just this series, so it’s nothing that’s that surprising to me.”
Jordan was the league’s leading rebounder in the playoffs with a 15.6 average.
Jordan was one of three Clippers who were invited to vie for a roster spot on the USA National team that will compete in this summer’s Rio Games. Paul pulled out long before he fractured his right hand in Game 4 on Monday at Moda Center. And now that Griffin’s partially torn left quad tendon has again taken him out of action, chances are Jordan will be the only Clippers player going for a spot on the USA roster.
“That would be a great experience for him,” Rivers said. “I think Chris pulled out already and now Blake’s injury. I think Blake wouldn’t play because of it,
but I actually think he could. But I don’t think he will. But D.J., it would be a great experience for him.”