LOS ANGELES — One of Doc Rivers’ first pronouncements when he was introduced as Clippers coach last June was that he believed DeAndre Jordan was capable of winning NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
On Monday, Jordan got close.
The Clippers center was third in voting announced by the league, finishing behind winner Chicago’s Joakim Noah and Indiana’s Roy Hibbert.
Noah received 100 of a possible 125 first-place votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and totaled 555 points. Hibbert had 155 points, and Jordan had eight first-place votes and 121 points.
Jordan led the league in rebounds (13.6) and was third in blocked shots (2.48). In Saturday’s Game 1 playoff loss to the Golden State Warriors, he blocked five shots.
"I think that’s a great step forward for DeAndre, and he should look at it that way," Rivers said Monday, before the Clippers and Warriors met in Game 2 at Staples Center. "I’m sure he’s disappointed."
Jordan, 25, had a breakout season, totaling a career-high 42 double-doubles (points and rebounds). His previous high in any season was 12.
He also led the NBA in field-goal percentage (67.5 percent), joining Wilt Chamberlain and Dwight Howard as the only players to lead the league in both rebounds and field-goal percentage.