The Clippers’ dumpster fire will soon be extinguished.
Doc Rivers, probably the most overrated head coach in NBA history, will soon be holding a microphone instead of a clipboard. The Clips could try and make a run for the No. 8 seed when Milos Teodosic and Danilo Gallinari get healthy, but why? You’d think Steve Ballmer is smart enough to know it’s time to tear down and rebuild, but he’s also the guy who thought the Zune could compete with the iPod, so who knows?
Assuming Los Angeles’ other team does decide to embrace “the process” (they will), their biggest trade chip is their uber-athletic center with an expiring contract: DeAndre Jordan.
The 29-year-old Jordan has seen his numbers dip a little this year, which makes sense because he’s running the pick-and-roll with Nepotism Rivers instead of Chris Paul.
What hasn’t changed in Jordan’s game is his ability to control the paint like a DuPont heir on defense, an ability that the Cavs will need come playoff time when the game slows down and teams rely more heavily on half court offense.
Some stats suggest Tristan Thompson and DeAndre protect the rim with similar effectiveness, but anyone who’s watched the two play knows otherwise. Thompson’s a nice player, but Jordan operating at full intensity in a playoff series poses far more of a threat to opposing offenses.
Cleveland’s defense will have more holes than a box of Fruit Loops come April with Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade seeing significant minutes. DeAndre can be to this Cavs team what Tyson Chandler was to the 2010-11 Mavericks.
The Cavs’ chances of getting past the Warriors are slim, but with LeBron playing out of his mind and DeAndre Jordan giving them 30 minutes of high-intensity defense, they stand a much better chance than with Channing Frye, Kevin Love, and Thompson manning the key.
Cleveland needs a rim-protector — why not go after the best on the market? It’ll probably only cost them Tristan and their late first-round pick…