Film Study: Shot-Blocking Gone Bad

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY BUREAU — Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan leads the league with 3.08 blocks per game.

That’s a good thing, right? It certainly produces some great highlights…

The Clippers currently rank 25th defensively, allowing 103.2 points per 100 possessions. When Jordan has been on the floor, they’ve only allowed 97.8, a rate that would rate them 10th in the league.

But whether or not Jordan has been on the floor, the Clippers have been a below-average defensive rebounding team, despite the length and athleticism of their frontline. They rank 20th in defensive rebounding percentage, grabbing 72.0 percent of available defensive boards. When Jordan is in the game, they’re grabbing 72.4 percent, still below the league average of 73.5 percent.

Jordan ranks 77th among players who have logged at least 125 minutes this season (53rd among players 6-foot-10 and taller) in individual defensive rebounding percentage. And when you watch him, you can see why.

Jordan clearly likes blocking shots, so much that he often takes himself out of rebounding position in an attempt to block a shot that he either doesn’t need to block or has no chance of blocking.

Here are a few examples…

Play 1: Dec. 28 at San Antonio
Blake Griffin stays in front of Tim Duncan on a slow drive to the basket, and Jordan leaves his man, DeJuan Blair, to help. Jordan alters Duncan’s shot, but Griffin was already there to contest it and Blair is alone under the basket to tip in the miss…

Play 2: Dec. 30 vs. Chicago
Griffin contains Derrick Rose on a pick-and-roll and is there to challenge Rose’s shot. But Jordan leaves Joakim Noah under the basket for a wild block attempt, which takes him all the way out to the elbow as Noah is getting his hands on the rebound…

Play 3: Jan. 1 vs. Portland
Brian Cook doesn’t exactly stop Jamal Crawford‘s drive, so Jordan comes from the weak side to help. But again, his block attempt is so wild, he takes himself out of rebounding position and takes Cook out of the play too. LaMarcus Aldridge is left under the basket to get his hands on the rebound…

Jordan isn’t always so undisciplined…

Play 4: Jan. 17 at Utah
This play is somewhat similar to Play 1 above, with Griffin defending Paul Millsap in the paint. But instead of chasing the play to try to block Millsap’s shot, Jordan stays at home on Al Jefferson. Griffin is able to challenge Millsap’s turnaround jumper, Jordan does a nice job of boxing out Jefferson, and the rebound is all his…

The Clippers need Jordan to protect the rim. But it’s clear that he can get too aggressive in trying to block shots. Further, 17 of Jordan’s 37 blocks have been rebounded by the opponent. And Clippers’ opponents have the fifth-highest rate of converting offensive rebounds into second-chance points.

Highest opponent rate, converting offensive rebounds

Boston 144 197 1.37
Toronto 159 209 1.31
Atlanta 162 211 1.30
Charlotte 173 221 1.28
L.A. Clippers 135 167 1.24

OppOREB = Opponent offensive rebounds
Opp2CP = Opponent second-chance points
League average = 1.13

Over the last four years, there has been a positive correlation between defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions) and the percentage of their opponents shots that a team blocks. But the correlation is not as strong as the one between defensive efficiency and defensive rebounding percentage.

If Jordan can add some discipline to his defense, the Clippers would benefit. He’d be a more effective defender if he used his size and athleticism to become one of the league’s best rebounders, rather than one of its best shot-blockers.


  1. Isaac says:

    The problem is the Clippers wings not defending slashers well enough.. instead of pushing them at an angle towards DJ, they usually just get blown by leaving DJ to defend the paint 2 on 1.

  2. Rickson says:

    that’s really good Jordan, Blake, Christ and Phillip, they play really good but not in the 2k12 and i hope they will make better update for the LA Clippers team not just for the Heats Team…

  3. Aaron says:

    Blocks are game changers, especially at home… and when you send one out with authority it gets the crowd going. Basketball is more than a game of numbers.

  4. NBEATZ says:

    Lets not focus on Jordan’s blocks removing them from rebounding the ball, or we could say the same thing about Dwight!!!!!!
    Lets talk about the other players on the team.
    Blake averages 11.5
    Jordan averages 8.6
    Reggie evans averages 5.8 (In less then 18 minutes a game)
    Caron Butler averages 4.20 (Should be closer to 6 a game)
    The rest of the team follows..
    They should try to play Jordan at the five Evans at the 4 and Griffen at the three and the rebound will be amazing, but the you loose the offence that Butler brings, so there kind of in a dilema with this one

  5. Josh says:

    One thing I will say to his credit though, he’s good at blocking to his teammates to create transition plays. He’s not just one of these guys who always goes for the volleyball spike.

  6. RAM says:

    not much you can say he is a good blocker but it does seem like he aleady set up his mind to get a lot of blocks everynight he tends to forget he is playing 5on5 basketball,leaving his man free to rebound+tap or rebound+dunk in the process

  7. BID says:

    stats don’t always tell the whole story but they do tell the most

  8. Cheezo says:

    I think a lot of times hes been goaltending and the refs are just not crackin’ down on him yet…and its true he could get the award but Dwight blocks shots and he rebounds though…so it means Jordan needs some work there…

  9. anonymous says:

    In my opinion, you can’t get an award for being the best in rebound (knowing he scores less). He maybe attempting to lead the league in block, a more easy way to get an award (Defensive Player of the Year, just like Dwight Howard does).

  10. kjavis says:

    Yes DJ needs to be more selective with his blocks, not chase blocks and leave his man free to offensive rebound and retain blocks and he is quite lazy on defense, hands down most of the time and a lot of hacks leading to unnecessary fouls and early trips to the bench which leaves the clippers front-line crippled because the subs are so bad.
    Evans is a great re-bounder but he is a disability because has no offensive game and shoots around 10% free throws adding to what is already a really bad free throwing team,
    It’s a vicious cycle, something needs to be done, still feels like the Clippers of the old to me, inconsistent and underachieving

  11. Alex says:

    Its all about the other big man on the floor with DeAndre. DeAndre always goes for the person they leave open leaving his own man the offensive rebound. De Andre also needs to start thinking whether he goes for the black or not. Tim Duncan would have most likely missed his shot leaving DeAndre with the rebound. DeAndre is doing great.

  12. Matt... says:

    Those are called mistakes, he get’s a big contract and get’s to be in a real good team all of the sudden so he’s probably thinking why don’t i try to raise my game and become defensive player of the year, i’d say with the stats he did a good job but he’s just overdoing it a little, if he adjusts then it’s normal and this is useless, if he doesn’t then this article will become usefull, just let the man play and adjust

  13. Zane says:

    This is old news and out of date. The Clippers coaches and players have been preaching rebounding the whole season and it finally clicked. In their last 5 games, they have out-rebounded their opponents 233 to 217, an average of 46.6 rpg over those 5, and are much improved from the beginning of the season (btw that includes a back-to-back-to-back). They out-rebounded the Lakers, who were at the time the best rebounding team in the league, 50 to 42, and beat them in offensive rebounds 17 to 11. A look at their statistics show that they are obviously on their way up in rebounding stats, Reggie Evans having a lot to do with that, not only with the rebounds he gets, but also changing the attitudes of his teammates.

  14. AaronGrayForMVP says:

    This is a preposterous critique of a fine young center.

  15. gunslinger says:

    great example of stats don´t always tell the whole story

  16. Leo Valenz says:

    DJ is a blocking and slam dunk Monster. But, if he took to defense and rebounding. He can be the Rebound and second chance dunk King. Clippers got Reggie Evans to rebound. But, he needs to practice shooting and becoming a overall player.

  17. David says:

    Should block more like Duncan and actually earn his team a possesion instead of throwing the ball out of bounds

  18. Chinthaka N says:

    Yes blocks are a great highlight feature and will get you on the top 10 very often…but what someone like Jordan has realize is that you can’t give up your deffensive position to go for the block. If you have your teamate covering the offensive player focus on your deffence and the most important thing is box out, which you can’t do if you go for the block. Someone with Jordan’s talent, hight and wing span will get impressive blocks every game no matter what. But what he has to see is don’t go for every block speacially if your team is hurting on the deffensive rebound side…he might need to learn a thing or two from Bill Russel.

  19. Zach Gillette says:

    “The Clippers currently rank 25th defensively, allowing 103.2 points per 100 possessions. When Jordan has been on the floor, they’ve only allowed 97.8” = all that matters. Offensive rebounds don’t matter if you are still scoring less.

    • Sinan Cem Civili says:

      Everything matters to be a champion.

      Someone in Jordan’s ability pulling 8 rebounds in 30 minutes is underachiving.

    • Daniel says:

      those numbers are synthetic though. look at the 2nd chance point numbers. if he alters a shot but leaves their big man open down low with the ball because they got the rebound and he’s on the elbow, that’s not good defense. yes, it technically means it took 2 possessions to get a bucket, but that doesnt make them “better” on defense by any means. this is where numbers and common sense have some friction.

    • Ronnie Van den Poel says:

      I give it a 50-50 on this one

      Jordan is in the starting line-up for the clippers so this means that while he is on the floor most of the other teams starters will be on the floor to. Even though he gives up some of these easy offensive rebounds I still think the fact that he goes after every block will be in every teams’ scouting report. This will make it harder for other teams to get to the ring.

      Of course he has to find a good balance between what he can and can’t block. But it is my opinion that jordan can really be one of the best defenders in the league in years to come…