How DeAndre Jordan Beat Hack-a-Shaq Despite 22 Missed Free Throws
Last night against the Portland Trail Blazers, DeAndre Jordan tied a career high with 34 free throw attempts over the course of a single game. He is just the third player to do that since the 1963-64 season, trailing only Dwight Howard (twice) and Shaquille O'Neal who each attempted 39 shots from the charity stripe.
Actually, his 22 missed free throws tied Wilt Chamberlain's NBA record. But, Jordan definitely got the last laugh last night -- despite his laughable 12-for-34 finish from the free throw line.
Take a look for yourself.
|Score||FT Made||Subsequent POR Poss.||Pts Allowed||Diff.|
|92-78||1||Made free throw||1||0|
|94-79||1||Made field goal||2||-1|
|96-81||0||Made free throw||1||-1|
|96-82||1||Made free throw||1||0|
|97-83||2||Blocked shot (DJ), OReb, missed FG, DReb (DJ)||0||2|
|99-83||1||Made field goal||2||-1|
|TOTALS||8||2 field goals, 3 free throws, 3 turnovers||7||1|
The Trail Blazers implemented the Hack-A-Jordan strategy down 14 points with 3:51 left in the fourth quarter with hopes of slowing down the Clipper offense and climbing back into the game by trading twos (or threes) for zeros.
That's not exactly what happened.
On his first four guided trips to the line, Jordan went 3 of 8 -- but that didn't matter. The two teams combined for a wash as the Blazers turned the ball over two times and managed just three points on the four possessions subsequent to Jordan's first four sets of free throws.
Just when you thought it couldn't get any more pathetic for Portland, it did.
In his next five trips, Jordan went a cool (for his standards) 50% and outscored the Blazers 5 to 4 over that span. During that time, Portland also turned the ball over once, had a shot blocked by Jordan, and saw a defensive rebound secured by him as well.
It only took one more attempt at the strategy for coach Terry Stotts to call it quits.
After all was said and done, Jordan's poor foul shooting just wasn't as bad as his defensive impact was good. A Jordan-led Clipper defense, set up and ready to lock down on defense, held the Blazers in check and forced a total of three turnovers.
This is just a microcosm of the ongoing argument for and against the strategy itself. At least for one night, Jordan proved -- albeit at home against Portland -- that the strategy can be beaten with great defense and just good-enough foul shooting down the stretch.