Coach Doc Rivers explains what Clippers miss with DeAndre Jordan out with injury

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, middle, sits out with a left ankle sprain against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. He missed Monday's game as well.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, middle, sits out with a left ankle sprain against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. He missed Monday’s game as well.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

DeAndre Jordan worked out before Monday night’s game, shooting, running, doing his normal drills, but the Clippers center still missed his second consecutive game with a sprained left ankle.

Coach Doc Rivers seemed certain that Jordan wouldn’t play Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets, either. But Rivers was hopeful that Jordan would play Saturday night at Utah.

“My guess is just watching him move around, I can’t imagine him playing for a couple of days,” Rivers said. “I would be surprised [if he played] Wednesday. So let’s go with Saturday. That would be my guess.”

With Jordan out, the Clippers have turned to backup centers Willie Reed and Montrezl Harrell to hold things down. But the Clippers miss a lot when the 6-foot-11 Jordan doesn’t play.


“You just lose the roll game, the athleticism,” Rivers said. “DJ has the ability to rebound and then outrun his big [man] down the floor. Montrezl can do a little bit of that. He just doesn’t have the explosiveness obviously that DJ has, and Willie just plays a different game. He’s more of a positional big.”

Rivers said the Clippers also miss Jordan’s offense. It’s more than just Jordan averaging a double-double with 11.8 points and 14.9 rebounds per game. It’s Jordan setting solid screens. It’s him rolling down the lane for lob dunks. It’s him rim-running for dunks.

“DJ means so much to your team offensively than anybody ever gives him credit for,” Rivers said. “He’s one of the better defensive players in the league and everyone just keeps talking defense, and that’s fine. But he really does affect your offense a lot when he’s not on the floor.”

The Clippers are used to Jordan being on the floor. He’d played every game this season prior to his ankle injury and 398 out of 404 games the past five seasons.


More injury updates

Rivers said the team hopes to have an update on Austin Rivers (right ankle injury) “in two days.” The guard missed his ninth straight game.

Rivers also said forward Danilo Gallinari, who missed his 19th straight game with a left glute injury, is making progress.

“I saw him running today so he may be getting closer,” Rivers said. “But he’s still a ways away.”


Twitter: @BA_Turner