Just like that, the Los Angeles Clippers’ winning streak is over at 10. A loss on Saturday, Jan. 17th to the Sacramento Kings leaves the Clippers in a familiar place when they face the Houston Rockets on Monday. Despite a loss to one of the league’s weaker teams, it came only after both of the Clippers’ starting big men were out. Blake Griffin continues to nurse a partially torn quadricep and DeAndre Jordan was out with pneumonia. In DeAndre Jordan’s two absences, Cole Aldrich has demonstrated himself to be a quality replacement. Aldrich scored 19 points in both of his starts against the Miami Heat and Sacramento Kings which matched him against Hassan Whiteside and DeMarcus Cousins respectively.
Until this two game absence, DeAndre Jordan held the longest running “iron man” streak in the league with 360 games played. During this streak, Jordan has defined what it means to be an excellent big man in the NBA. During the last few seasons, he has averaged a double-double per game. Last season he set career highs with an average 11 points per game and 15 boards per game both of which he is set to match again this year. In addition to the character and optimism he brings to the Clippers, he also brings an absolutely freakish athleticism that is unrivaled by most centers. As a big man, his field goal percentage is characteristically high and he leads the league this season with a percentage of 71.5%. These stats are excellent and go to show how useful, efficient, and consistent a player Jordan has been throughout his 360 game streak. In addition to his efficient scoring, Jordan also averages more than 2 blocks per game, which makes him third best in the league this season.
However, despite all of these terrific stats and leading numbers, Jordan is only 13th on the All-Star voting sheet this season. With so many great and popular front-court players it is unlikely that he will ever be elected as a starter but he may be selected by the West’s All-Star coach. It is this writer’s opinion that, seeing how versatile and important a player Jordan is for the Clippers, he deserves a nod for his first All-Star game. He works hard, plays hard, and has an impact on the game whenever he is on the floor. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Jordan’s real-plus minus is the 7th highest in the league at 6.35, which puts him above All-Stars Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins.
Other than some off-the-court decisions that caused negative publicity over the last offseason the only real reason DeAndre Jordan shouldn’t make the All-Star team is his free-throw percentage, which currently sits at an abysmal 41.7%. Of qualified players, Jordan would be second to last (just above Andre Drummond). But that is a single poor mark on an otherwise excellent stat sheet. This season, Jordan is second in rebounds, first in field goal percentage, third in blocks, third in double-doubles but only 13th in All-Star voting. Despite knowing how I will vote for the Western Conference’s center position, this article isn’t an argument for Jordan to be selected. That case has already been made by Jordan’s own work ethic and monster numbers posted over this season and over the last (uninterrupted) 360 games.