NBA Beat: Dunk gives Clippers' Jordan moment in spotlight

Published: Sunday, Mar. 24, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4C
Last Modified: Sunday, Mar. 24, 2013 - 9:13 am

The facial expression might be more popular than the dunk that preceded it.

Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had just thrown down a dunk that left onlookers concerned for the safety of the Detroit Pistons' Brandon Knight, who tried to stop the play and landed hard on the Staples Center floor for his effort.

As Jordan walked away, he made the face that Under Armour swiftly put on a T-shirt.

That look – Jordan's mouth turned up and a frown that looked as if something smelled putrid – is now known as Jordan's dunk face.

The T-shirt version has a caricature of Jordan's face with the phrase "Show me your dunk face" around Jordan's head.

"I didn't even know about the dunk face until two days later," Jordan said.

"L.O. (Lamar Odom) was looking at me like, 'That was kind of nasty.' But that came from him. I was looking at him like that."

Jordan wouldn't mind being known for more than dunks. But on a team loaded with stars and more experienced players, the five-year veteran he is content to play his role.

According to the CBS Sports dunk tracker, Jordan entered Saturday with 150 dunks, tied for third most in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers' Dwight Howard. The Clippers' Blake Griffin led with 178, followed by the Denver Nuggets' JaVale McGee (153).

Jordan, who has scored 58.1 percent of his baskets on dunks, said he continues to work on his overall offensive game. But on a team with two All-Stars (Griffin and Chris Paul), the likely Sixth Man of the Year (Jamal Crawford) and a former Sixth Man of the Year (Odom) among others, getting the ball to Jordan isn't a top priority on offense.

"At times, we're trying to give him the ball to score and go over the top, but for DJ, it's all about energy; it's all about athleticism," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Controlling the paint for us, setting good screens, controlling everything that way, and then he can feed off everything off the glass."

It's easier for Jordan to fall in line considering the Clippers' success this season.

Jordan is confident that when he does get the ball in the post, he can produce.

"I'm comfortable down there with the ball," Jordan said. "But we've got guys like Chris and Blake who do the majority of our scoring. But whenever they do give me the ball down there, I feel comfortable and confident to make the right basketball play whether that be to score or pass out of the double team. But I feel like my game has definitely improved down there."

If Jordan doesn't have the chance to show those improvements often, his fans will be fine if he still has more chances to show his dunk face.

Stat watch

As the season nears its end, it appears the NBA's anti-flopping policy has done a good job of pointing out that the Brooklyn Nets have a few actors on their roster.

The Nets are the only team with three players who have been cited for flopping this season. Two of the four players fined $5,000 for second flopping offenses are Nets: Reggie Evans and Gerald Wallace.

C.J. Watson was the last Net to be given a warning for a flop Jan. 23 at Minnesota.

The Clippers (Paul and Chauncey Billups) are the only other team with two players to have been warned who are still teammates.

The Kings have two players who have been warned (Tyreke Evans and Patrick Patterson), but Patterson was warned while with the Houston Rockets.

Tweet of the week

"what a way to kick off spring break! Some go out of the country, some go to beaches, I run on a court ha"

That was from James Blair (@jamesblair06), who ran onto the court to meet LeBron James during the Miami Heat's comeback win at Cleveland on Wednesday.

Blair gained a lot of new Twitter followers, including James. He also picked up a court date.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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