DeAndre Jordan having an All-Star season, but....

Clippers center is passed over again despite some impressive numbers

The only things missing as DeAndre Jordan crouched behind a table inside Staples Center late Wednesday night were a darkened room with a brick wall, a spotlight on the Clippers center and maybe some cigarette smoke wafting through the air.

Reporters couldn't help but provide the laugh track as Jordan addressed a variety of topics.

On his latest omission from the All-Star game after the late withdrawal of Anthony Davis: "Next year I've just got to probably average 20 points a game and it might be something they would look at."

On fans saying his name while teammate Chris Paul shot free throws: "I thought it was kind of weird they were chanting 'D.J.' when Chris was shooting. There's a height differential there."

On whether he needed to develop a signature offensive move like a sky hook: "I also want to shoot threes. But then there's a nightmare of hearing [a buzzer] and then me coming out of the game."

It's no joke that Jordan is about the last player Clippers Coach Doc Rivers wants off the court after a number of 20-point, 20-rebound games helped soften the absence of Blake Griffin, while making Jordan perhaps the most egregious omission from the All-Star game Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Jordan leads the NBA in rebounding (13.8 a game), is just behind Wilt Chamberlain's season record for field-goal percentage (72.5% to 72.7%) and has collected three 20-20 games over his last six. He also ranks second in blocked shots (2.4 per game).

Rivers called Jordan's absence from the All-Star game a "travesty."

"What I keep saying about D.J. that I don't like is that you play both sides of the floor and just the one side of the floor keeps getting all the credit and not the other side of the floor and the other side is more important," Rivers said, referring to defense. "There has never been a team that has won a title without being a decent defensive team or a great defensive team, yet that side keeps getting forgotten about in the All-Star game."

Jordan's offense might no longer be an issue if recent trends persist. He has averaged 15.5 points over his last six games, including a 24-point outburst Wednesday during the Clippers' 110-95 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Jordan has also made at least 50% of his shots in an NBA-record 39 consecutive games, last failing to do so Nov. 28 against the Rockets.

He snagged his 20th rebound Wednesday with a big assist from Paul, who stepped aside to let his teammate grab the ball with only 17 seconds left in the game.

"I didn't have any clue how many rebounds he had," Paul said. "I just heard the bench screaming."

Said Jordan: "I remember coming down and I heard everybody say, 'Let D.J. get it! Let D.J. get it!' and I was like, 'OK, well, I must have 19. Or nine.'"

Jordan has stayed jovial throughout a season in which he's been widely ignored outside Los Angeles, pretending to give a clipped, Marshawn Lynch-style interview with a television reporter after a game before breaking into a wide smile and answering all her questions with thoughtful insights.

He has even refused to get flustered when discussing teams' recent strategy of intentionally fouling him as a comeback strategy. The Rockets tried it late in the game Wednesday only to watch their deficit increase even as Jordan made seven of 16 free throws over the final 4 minutes 15 seconds. Overall, he made 12 of 26 in the game.

"I don't go to the line as tense anymore," Jordan said, "because my coaches and teammates are confident in me and if I don't make them, then we're going to go down and get a stop."

Jordan's defensive prowess does raise one issue about his inclusion as an All-Star: Is he really needed in a game where no defense is played?

"Oh, if I played in the All-Star game, I'm playing defense — hard for the first quarter," Jordan said. "And I want to get a couple of dunks too. Like I do in a regular game."

Twitter: @latbbolch

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