Every time a Portland Trail Blazer thinks he has an open lane to the hoop, they are driving into a trap. Just like a Venus Fly Trap, as soon as they get to the rim DeAndre Jordan is there to block or alter their shot. In the two games of the playoff series, Jordan has dominated the defensive end and forced the Blazers to rethink and overthink every drive to the lane. Zach Lowe of ESPN tweeted after game two (@ZachLowe_NBA) “DJ has played some of the best defense of his career in this series for the Clips.”
Jordan has been a force to be reckon with on that end of the floor all season, finishing second in blocks and rebounds per game at 2.2 and 13.9. In the playoffs he has kicked it up a notch and is averaging 3.5 blocks and 15 rebounds per game. In the regular season Portland averaged 53.2% in the paint but since Jordan began patrolling the paint their average has dropped to 46.8% according to nba.com/stats shot charts.
In the two plays below Jordan times these blocks perfectly against Damian Lillard just like a Venus Fly Trap waits until its prey is in the kill zone. Like a fly, Lillard has no idea what hit him and got killed.
Even when Jordan is not able to block shots, he has an effect on anyone who drives into his trap. There is no statistic for altering shots, but there are times when an offensive player drives the lane for a layup and rushes the shot as a shot blocker approaches.
The two plays below are great examples of Jordan springing his trap and even though he doesn’t get the block, he forces the miss. Lillard in the first clip, tries to change the trajectory of the shot by trying to finish over Jordan, missing it nonetheless. Then CJ McCollum drives the lane and when he is surprised by Jordan tries to use the rim to protect himself from the shot blocker but at that point it is too late, another miss.
In order for the Clippers organization to advance in the playoffs Jordan will have to turn the paint into a death trap for all who dare enter. By now, every Blazer should know that when they drive into the paint they have watch out for the long arms of Jordan that will snatch the life out of their shot.