Friday, June 1, 2012
Report cards: Jordan
By Pedro Moura
Here is the 12th player capsule in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season. The series runs until next week, examining every player who finished the season on the roster as well as the head coach.
2011-2012 contributions: Was Jordan's 2011-2012 campaign what the Clippers envisioned when they matched Golden State's four-year, $43 million offer sheet to him last December? No. Was it a complete and outright disappointment? Not that, either. The question is which of those it's closer to, and an argument can be made for both. The same on-again, off-again defensive struggles he had his first three NBA seasons were plain to see again this season, and it's hard to name something he got better at, other than free-throw shooting -- which was still poor at 53 percent. One definite positive: He has proven to be an effective rebounder, and that didn't change either, as his per-minute rebound rate was actually better than Blake Griffin's. But he pulled a gradual disappearing act all season, with his points per game declining each month. And then he went the first 10 playoff games without finishing in double digits in points or rebounds a single time.
2012-2013 prediction: Jordan is a Clipper to stay. Going forward, it's vital to the franchise's success that he learns how to become at least a serviceable offensive player in non-dunk situations. Developing reliable post moves has been a focus in his first four years, but that effort has yet to result in anything tangible. Luckily, he's still just 23 and has time to learn. Also, if Jordan can get his free-throw rate to flirt with 60 percent, then Vinny Del Negro could actually keep him on the court late in games. And an $11 million man should be able to play 3o effective minutes per game, which Jordan has yet to do for extended stretches of his NBA career. Plus, it'll help his per-game numbers look a little better.