Clippers' DeAndre Jordan amusingly quiet about Rockets' hacking strategy

Clippers' DeAndre Jordan doesn't have much to say about Houston Rockets' strategy of deliberately fouling him

After already answering one question about being hacked, DeAndre Jordan was asked during a postgame news conference what his thoughts were when the Houston Rockets started intentionally fouling him 3 minutes and 40 seconds into Sunday's Game 4 in the Western Conference semifinals. Jordan took that as his cue to leave.

He laughed, then started walking away from the podium. Blake Griffin, who was seated next to him, apparently wanted to hear his response.

"No, answer the question, man," Griffin said, laughing. "You can't just get up."

Jordan turned around and walked over to Griffin's microphone.

"I just tried to stay focused," Jordan said. "And we executed."

Jordan shot 34 free throws -- more than the entire Rockets' team combined -- in the Clippers' 128-95 win. He made 14 of those shots.

The Clippers center shot 28 free throws in the first half, setting an NBA postseason record for most free throws attempted in a half. Shaquille O'Neal previously held the record with 27 attempts for the Lakers against Portland in the second half of a 2000 playoff game.

The only thing is, the hack-a-Jordan strategy doesn't seem to work for the Clippers' opponents.

Entering the playoffs, in games since 2013, when Jordan shot 12 or more free throws, the Clippers were 15-2. When he shot 14 or more free throws, the Clippers were 12-0. When he shot 15 or more free throws, the Clippers were 9-0.

The strategy aimed at taking the Clippers out of their offensive flow seems to affect their opponents as well. And let's not fail to mention how much fun it is for the fans to watch. Even some players are speaking out against it.

"I mean, personally I don't like it," James Harden said Sunday.

Before the Clippers knocked the San Antonio Spurs out of the playoffs in the first round, when the teams met during the regular season on Feb. 19, the Spurs sent Jordan to the free-throw line 28 times. Jordan said then that Tim Duncan apologized to him for the hacking, and after the game, Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich acknowledged that he's not a fan of the strategy he uses.

"I hate doing it," Popovich said, "but it's a rule. Free throws are part of the game. It's a whole lot better than chasing Chris Paul around all day."

Some players and coaches around the NBA would like to see the rule changed, and Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters Thursday that he's "on the fence" about intentional fouling. The topic is expected to be discussed in upcoming meetings among the league's general managers and its competition committee.

Before the Clippers began their playoff series against Houston, Coach Doc Rivers joked that he and Rockets Coach Kevin McHale had reached an agreement about intentional fouls.

"Kevin and I have the truce going, it will be the no hack-a-series or it will be all-hack-a-series," Rivers said before Game 1.

Considering the Rockets attempted 64 free throws in Game 2, and the Clippers shot 63 free throws in Game 4, it's funny how that agreement went.

So funny that Jordan walked off the stage Sunday in a fit of laughter.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
68°