Doc Rivers: DeAndre Jordan could be MVP if he were an offensive star

Doc Rivers: DeAndre Jordan could be MVP if he were an offensive star
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan celebrates after dunking against the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 19. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

DeAndre Jordan has had quite a month.

In games since Feb. 2, the Clippers' center has grabbed 15 or more rebounds in nine of the team's 12 games. He has scored 20 or more points in five of the team's 12 games. Jordan had three 20-20 performances in his career, each of them in the month of February.

He's had 15 or more rebounds in eight straight games, the longest such streak by a Clipper since Michael Cage's nine-game stretch in 1987-88.

In the Clippers' most recent win, a 96-86 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, Jordan had 26 rebounds, one short of his career high, which he had on Feb. 9 against the Dallas Mavericks. Against the Bulls, Jordan had 17 boards in the first half, the most rebounds in a half in the NBA this season.

"What he is doing defensively, if he was doing that offensively he would be a good candidate for the MVP," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said Sunday.
His impressive play has come at an opportune time for the Clippers, who have been without star power forward Blake Griffin for nine games after Griffin developed a staph infection in his right elbow and had surgery Feb. 9.
In the meantime, Jordan has helped the Clippers win six of their last eight games to be in fifth place in the ultra-competitive Western Conference with a record of 39-21.

Jordan leads the league in rebounding, averaging a career-high 14.4. He's fourth in the NBA in blocked shots, averaging 2.3. And he's averaging 11.2 points on 72% shooting, the highest field-goal percentage of any player in the league who has played a significant number of games.

Despite his stats, Jordan didn't even make the All-Star team.

Many of Jordan's contributions don't even show up on the stat sheets. He alters countless shots and prevents dribble-penetration in the middle with his long arms and foreboding 6-foot-11, 250-pound frame.

After Sunday's game, Rivers said that if Jordan is not named defensive player of the year this season for the first time in his career then something is wrong.

"If anybody else gets that award," Rivers said, "we need to have an investigation."