Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan works to improve his offense, and weight
Before Clippers center DeAndre Jordan reached this point in training camp in which his teammates raved about his improved offensive skills, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro recalled he had ripped into his young player about Jordan’s weight problems.
Jordan, 24, didn’t maintain his playing weight of 265 pounds from last season, ballooning up to 295 pounds in the early part of the summer.
“And I read him the riot act too,” Del Negro said.
The 6-foot-11 Jordan apparently listened because he came to camp last week weighing 265 pounds, with 8% body fat.
As he dropped the weight during the summer, Jordan also began to work on improving a basically nonexistent low-post game.
Jordan worked on his footwork and improving his balance. A left-hander, he also worked on moves with both hands, including hook shots from both sides. He worked on slowing down when he gets the ball in the post.
“I still want to get better,” Jordan said after practice Tuesday. “There are still things I can improve upon. But I feel like I’ve improved tremendously since last year.
“Whenever I get the ball in the post, I feel like I’m confident down there. As long as I take my time and don’t rush it, I feel like I’m going to get something good.”
Jordan averaged 7.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.05 blocked shots last season in 27.2 minutes per game.
After watching him in practice the last few days, his teammates are confident Jordan will be more of a factor on offense this season.
“DeAndre, I didn’t realize that he could post up like that,” Grant Hill said. “He’s really good at catching the ball in the post, being very decisive and making very powerful moves. I didn’t recall him posting a lot last year, but it looks like he has worked at that and he has confidence and the team has confidence in him.”
Jordan, who shot 52.5% from the free-throw line last season, has worked with Clippers shooting coach Bob Thate to improve that part of his game too.
“Free throws were a big deal,” Jordan said. “I worked on that this summer. So this year I’m feeling confident that I can play down the stretch and help us get wins.”
The plan now is for Jordan to remain confident in his game and to continue to develop his offensive skills.
Jordan said he has a couple of go-to moves with which he is comfortable. “I’m just trying them all out in training camp,” he said. “There are some that I really like and there are some that I’m still working on.”
The Clippers will hold an open scrimmage Wednesday at the Galen Center on the campus of USC. The scrimmage starts at 6 p.m. and is free to the public.
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