After forming their Big 3 with the blockbuster acquisition of Russell Westbrook, the Los Angeles Lakers put the finishing touches on building the supporting cast around them by adding DeAndre Jordan.
It became evident that the Lakers prioritized shot-blocking and finishing around the rim this offseason by bringing in Jordan and Dwight Howard. Their frontcourt rotation has now seemingly been solidified with the new pair now flanking Anthony Davis down low following the departure of Marc Gasol.
Jordan spent last season on a Brooklyn Nets team with no shortage of firepower on the offensive end of the floor. He is admittedly looking forward to playing off Westbrook and LeBron James because of their ability to get to the rim.
“For me, it’s great,” Jordan said. “Those guys being able to have such speed and strength, being able to get downhill so quickly, it puts a lot of pressure on defenses. And when you’re a big playing in that dunker area, you kind of find where you’ll be open, whether it’s a shovel pass, whether it’s a lob. And like I said, those guys are so great at finding the open man and making the defenses just pay for coverages and schemes that they may come up with is going to be great. And I just need to be ready to catch the basketball or catch a lab or screen in for a shooter. But when you have that many threats all on one team, I think that it’s going to be very beneficial to us.”
There is good reason for Jordan to be excited since his skill set down low could make for a better fit with L.A. than it did in Brooklyn where they were mostly spacing out the floor with shooters. He will now have more opportunities to feed off James’ and Westbrook’s aggression at the rim.
Jordan has already made it clear that he does not plan on changing up his role as an anchor on defense while helping facilitate the offense. This group of veterans seem to understand full well that such contributions and sacrifices will be necessary if they are going to secure the franchise’s 18th championship in the 2021-22 NBA season.
Jordan embracing same role with Lakers
It did not take long for the reports of the team’s interest in Jordan to be confirmed after signing him to a one-year deal following his release from the Detroit Pistons. He is now expected to play an integral role in the frontcourt alongside Davis and Howard.
Entering Year 13, Jordan is looking forward to doing what he does best as a member of the Purple and Gold.
“First of all, I’m extremely excited. I want to thank everybody for this opportunity. I think that my role for any team that I’m on pretty much stays the same,” Jordan said during his introductory press conference. “I’m coming in to defend the basketball, try to change shots and alter shots at the rim, rebound the basketball, get my teammates open as best as possible and keep possessions alive for us and be a great force on both ends of the basketball floor and be a great locker room guy. That’s pretty much been my niche and my thing that I bring to every team that I’m on and I’m excited to get here and get to work with these guys. Being able to have multiple log threats now again with this team is going to be great, especially with the playmakers that we have and the unselfish guys that we have on this team, it’s going to be great.
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