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Wednesday, April 4, 2012
DeAndre Jordan's defensive struggles

By Pedro Moura

LOS ANGELES -- DeAndre Jordan left the Clippers' locker room before reporters were allowed in on Wednesday night following the 113-108 loss to the  Lakers, but his teammates stood up for him.

There wasn't anything he could do against Lakers center Andrew Bynum, they said, even though Bynum put up 36 points against Jordan and repeatedly outmuscled and outsmarted him in the post.

In fact, Kenyon Martin and Chris Paul both said Jordan did an "excellent" job defending Bynum.

"The kid (Bynum) is a good post player," Martin said. "DeAndre guarded him and made everything tough on him.

"That's all you can do."

Bynum hit 65 percent of his shots in Wednesday's game -- most of which came one-on-one against Jordan -- and didn't turn the ball over. And that was with a sprained ankle that had him listed as questionable before the game.

That was all Jordan, who's making roughly $10 million this season in the first year of a monstrous four-year deal, could do?

No, said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. Of course Jordan could have done more against Bynum and the Lakers, Del Negro said.

"But it's not just D.J -- it's everybody," he said. "We've gotta do a better job spinning him baseline, getting help for him, fighting him early and getting him off his box, his sweet spot. Bynum's a load down there -- we all know that."

"It's not just one guy, it's several."

Regardless, it seems Jordan and Clippers simply can't stop guys like Bynum in the post -- guys who are athletic enough to compete with Jordan and more skilled.

What happens if the Clippers face Bynum or another powerful, skilled big man in the playoffs?

It's not hard to predict: A lot more of what just happened Wednesday night, to even higher doses. And, against certain teams, that might be the Clippers' biggest single defensive weakness.