NBA News & Notes: Clippers' DeAndre Jordan steps up, Doc Rivers named Coach of the Month

February 1, 2016

Two members of the Clippers are profiled in the DSH's latest NBA News and Notes, as Los Angeles tries to right the ship during star forward Blake Griffin's absence:

Clippers' DeAndre Jordan Delivers

January was an off shooting month for Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. He shot only 70.7 percent from the field, down from 74.7 percent in December, as he takes aim at Wilt Chamberlain’s record 72.7 percent in 1972-73.

Jordan, who leads the NBA in field goal percentage (71.5) for the fourth straight season, picked a good time to have his best overall month of the season, with forward Blake Griffin sidelined and rivals such as red-hot Memphis looking to overtake the Clippers in the standings. He averaged 13.8 points and 15.1 rebounds in January as the Clippers went 11-3 to improve to 32-16, good for fourth place in the West.

Jordan is within striking distance of leading the NBA in both field goal percentage and rebounding for the third season in a row: He is the only qualified player shooting better than 62 percent, and he ranks second in rebounding (13.8 rpg) behind Detroit’s Andre Drummond (15.0 rpg).

Clippers' Doc Rivers Named Coach of the Month in West

The NBA announced today that Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers has been named Western Conference Coach of the Month for games played in January. Dwane Casey of the Toronto Raptors was named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month.

The Clippers posted an 11-3 record in the month of January, the team's best month of January in franchise history. The Clippers beat four of the top five teams in the Eastern Conference during the month, including a 91-89 win in Indiana on Jan. 26, and 120-93 home win against Chicago on Jan. 31.

For the month of January, the Clippers ranked 3rd in field goal percentage (47.3%), 4th in three-point percentage (39.3%), 6th in points per game (107.9), and 1st in fewest turnovers per game (11.4), all while star forward Blake Griffin has been sidelined by various injuries.  The Clippers’ +8.1 point differential was fifth-best in the league.

Rivers' decision to go with a smaller lineup in January revitalized the team's role players, as well as the play of starting center DeAndre Jordan and point guard Chris Paul.

Casey led Toronto to the best month in the East at 12-2 (.857).  Toronto won 11 straight games to close the month, giving the Raptors their longest winning streak in franchise history.  At 32-15, the Raptors lead the Atlantic Division by six games and sit second in the conference.  Toronto scored at least 100 points in 12 of 14 January games and surrendered 100-plus points only six times.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Golden State’s Steve Kerr and Luke Walton, Memphis’ Dave Joerger, Oklahoma City’s Billy Donovan, Portland’s Terry Stotts, and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.

Blazers' Lillard Continues to Shine

The Trail Blazers didn’t just lose four starters during the offseason. They lost four starters who, along with Damian Lillard, comprised a unit that helped Portland win at least 50 games in back-to-back seasons.

The revamped Blazers are building a new identity though, and are hanging tough in the Western Conference playoff race. An emerging CJ McCollum (20.7 ppg) has joined Lillard to form one of the NBA’s highest-scoring backcourts, and other young players such as guard Allen Crabbe (11.2 ppg) and center Meyers Leonard (9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) have made the most of their expanded roles.

The Blazers (23-26) have won a season-high four consecutive games and eight of 10 to move into eighth place in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of Utah (21-25). Portland is 4-1 on its seven-game homestand, which wraps up with games against Milwaukee on Tuesday and Toronto on Thursday.

D-Wade Still Has It

On Janaury 19, Heat guard Dwyane Wade scored two points in 21 minutes during a loss to Milwaukee, the second time in his career he had played that much and scored that little in a regular-season game. He missed the next game with shoulder soreness, a loss to Washington, Miami’s sixth defeat in seven games. Since then, however, Wade has gotten back on track -- as has the Heat. Wade is averaging 23.6 points (on 50.0 percent shooting), 6.4 assists and 4.4 rebounds in his last five games, lifting Miami to a 4-1 record and victories in its last four.

Wade is now tied with Bernard King for 42nd place on the NBA's all-time scoring list (19,655 points). Miami (27-21), which trails Chicago (26-20) by percentage points for third place in the Eastern Conference, puts its season-high winning streak on the line Tuesday at Houston (8 p.m. ET, NBA TV).

As a result of Wade's recent play, the future Hall of Famer was honored today by the NBA . . .

Wade, Durant named NBA Players of the Week

The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant were today named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Jan. 25 through Sunday, Jan. 31.

Wade led the Heat to a 4-0 week, which included wins over the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, behind averages of 24.0 points (tied-third in the Eastern Conference), 7.0 assists (fourth in the conference), 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals (tied-eighth in the conference), and 1.75 blocks (tied-fifth in the conference).  On Jan. 26, he tallied 27 points, eight assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks during a 102-98 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Durant’s league-best 34.7 points on the week helped the Thunder to a 3-0 record.  He ranked fourth in the Western Conference with 11.7 rebounds, contributed 4.3 assists and averaged a conference-high 40.0 minutes.  Durant recorded point-rebound double-doubles twice, including a 44-point, 14-rebound outing on Jan. 26, as the Thunder topped the New York Knicks 128-122 in overtime.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Indiana’s Monta Ellis, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Memphis’ Jeff Green, New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.

NBA Chatter

  • Jared Dubin, “At age 30, [Hawks forward Paul] Millsap is in the midst of what might be his best season. … [H]e’s not exactly the flashiest player or brightest personality in the NBA. But man, is he incredible in almost every respect.”

  • Manny Randhawa, Indianapolis Star: “[Pacers rookie forward Myles] Turner had Indianapolis abuzz after scoring a career-high 25 points against the Nuggets on Jan. 17, then eclipsing that mark with 31 points against the Warriors on Jan. 22, and making his first career start Thursday against the Hawks, in which he scored 20 points on 9-of-17 shooting. But while the Pacers' first-round draft pick may have been the talk of the town Friday, he was busy putting his desire to help others into action. Turner and his mother started the WARM (We All Really Matter) program, through which care packages are passed out for people to keep in their cars in case they see someone in need. The bags include water, snacks, hand warmers, toothbrushes and other items to help during the winter.”

  • Scott Skiles, Magic coach: “We picked [rookie guard Mario Hezonja] with the goal of him being a two-way player. … [Y]ou have the Klay Thompsons, the Jimmy Butlers … the guys that are legit two-way players. They can lock you up. Our goal for is for [Hezonja] to at some point be that type of player, and so we're trying to help him build a foundation on the other end of the floor.”

The Numbers

  • Clippers guard Chris Paul needs 34 assists to pass Maurice Cheeks (7,392) for 11th place on the NBA’s career list.
  • Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is averaging 18.7 points (on 48.9 percent shooting) and 10.4 rebounds in his last seven games.
  • Utah’s Rodney Hood has shot 8-of-16 from the field in each of the last three games, scoring 22, 23 and 24 points once each. The second-year guard averaged 18.6 points in 14 games in January, with shooting percentages of 45.7 from the field and 46.2 from three-point range.
  • Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday has come off the bench to average 27.7 points in his last three games. For the season, Holiday is averaging 16.4 points (on 46.1 percent shooting) and 5.8 assists in 26 games as a reserve.
  • Like Holiday, Grizzlies forward Jeff Green is hot off the bench, averaging 26.7 points (on 63.3 percent shooting) in his last three games.
  • Magic forward Aaron Gordon has started his last five games and averaged 12.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 30.3 minutes.
  • The Wizards are playing at the NBA’s fifth-fastest pace this season, averaging 99.86 possessions per game. Last season, they played at the 16th-fastest pace, averaging 95.96 possessions per game.
  • In Sunday's win over New York, Warriors forward Draymond Green became the first player to go perfect from the field on at least nine attempts as part of a triple-double since Wilt Chamberlain in 1967. Green has nine triple-doubles this season, matching Tom Gola for the franchise record.
  • Warriors guard Klay Thompson is averaging 37.0 points and shooting 65.6 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from three-point range in his last three games.

Games This Week

What to watch for around the NBA this week (all times Eastern):

Monday, Feb. 1: All-Star starters LeBron James of Cleveland and Paul George of Indiana go head-to-head in the first game of NBA TV’s doubleheader (7 p.m.), followed by Milwaukee visiting Sacramento.

Tuesday, Feb. 2: If both players are healthy, this would mark the final regular-season matchup between Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (10:30 p.m., NBA TV). Garnett and Bryant are two of five players in NBA history to play 20 or more seasons.

Wednesday, Feb. 3: Guards Stephen Curry of Golden State and John Wall of Washington, both All-Stars for the third year in a row, square off at 8 p.m. in the opener of ESPN’s doubleheader, which concludes with Timberwolves-Clippers at 10:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 4: New York begins this week as one of four teams within three games of eighth-place Detroit in the East. The Knicks visit the Pistons in the opener of TNT’s doubleheader (7 p.m.). The Lakers and Pelicans meet in the second game (9:30 p.m.).

Friday, Feb. 5: Along with ESPN’s doubleheader of Pacers-Hawks (7 p.m.) and Spurs-Mavericks (9:30 p.m.), the Cavaliers play host to the Celtics (7:30, NBA LEAGUE PASS). Boston is one of only four teams to beat the Cavs in Cleveland since Jan. 19 of last season.

Saturday, Feb. 6: The Thunder and Warriors meet for the first time season in a game featuring five 2016 All-Stars and the current top two offenses in the NBA (9 p.m., ESPN). Golden State will bring a 40-game home regular-season winning streak into the matchup; a victory would give the Warriors sole possession of the second-longest home winning streak of all time.

Sunday, Feb. 7: In an ABC matinee (2 p.m.), the Clippers play the Heat in the second game of a four-game road trip. The Clippers open the week with a 15-9 road record, tied for the second-most road victories in the NBA.

By Staff of and news services

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