You don’t have to ask DeAndre Jordan twice — or once, even — about his perceived defensive player of the year snub last season to figure out how he feels.
The Clippers center interrupted a reporter’s question about not winning the award Thursday afternoon, adding, “and not making the [all-] defensive team either, so … “
Apparently he feels left out on multiple fronts.
Jordan finished third in voting for the league’s defensive player of the year, behind winner Joakim Noah and runner-up Roy Hibbert. He was also left off the all-defensive first and second teams despite leading the NBA in rebounding (13.6 per game) and ranking third in blocked shots (2.5).
Jordan acknowledged those slights were driving him as he prepares to enter his seventh NBA season.
“Absolutely,” Jordan said. “I mean, I don’t really talk about it, I don’t really say anything to my teammates about it, but we know. We all see what’s going on.”
What happened after the Clippers concluded their third day of training camp in Las Vegas was Jordan lingering on the court for extra practice on his free throws. He alternated shots with point guard Jordan Farmar while assistant video coordinator Natalie Nakase watched, extending her arm in the air and mimicking the correct form on a follow-through.
Jordan said Farmar had worked with him on his free throws since the summer, helping him with confidence, rhythm and not over-thinking his shot.
The notoriously poor foul shooter (career accuracy: 42.5%) may be headed to the line more this season. Coach Doc Rivers said he wanted Jordan to be more involved in scoring off pick-and-roll plays, which could involve additional free-throw chances.
Jordan, who is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $11.4 million this season, recently said he wasn’t thinking about his next deal. He could sign an extension of up to three years and $39.7 million any time between now and the end of June, or wait for a considerably more lucrative contract in free agency that would be for four years with another team or five years with the Clippers.
“He won’t ever accept an extension,” Rivers said. “Why would he? He shouldn’t. … Everybody, they get what they earn. That’s basically in life and that will happen for D.J.”
Let’s hear it
There was a new sound on the court every time the Clippers starters got back on defense: Blake Griffin’s voice.
The forward was considerably more vocal during scrimmages than he has been in past seasons.
“This is definitely the most I feel like Blake has talked on the floor,” Jordan said.
Rivers said it’s part of Griffin’s continued evolution into a more complete player.
“He has the ability himself to be an all-defensive player,” Rivers said, “and I think he’s starting to take that to heart.”
Rivers said he intended to use Matt Barnes as the starting small forward, resulting in a second unit that would probably include Farmar, Spencer Hawes, Jamal Crawford, Glen Davis and one more undetermined player. … Rivers described his team as “light years” ahead of where it was at this point a year ago in terms of ball movement and defensive execution. “In the first scrimmage,” Rivers said, “they had seven deflections. Last year, they would have had zero.”
Times correspondent Eric Pincus contributed to this report.