MIAMI – Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is a two-time member of the league’s All-Defensive first team and last year was first team All-NBA.
Still, Heat center Hassan Whiteside is not impressed.
The 7-foot Whiteside was asked today if he thought he shared any similarities with the 6-11 Jordan, also a shot-blocking, defensive-minded center but lacking Whiteside’s offensive skills.
“No,” Whiteside said. “He catches lobs. I shoot jumpers, catch lobs, block shots. I do a lot. He just catches lobs.”
Whiteside and Jordan will bang bodies Friday when the Heat host the Clippers in the third game of their current six-game homestand. Miami has won two in a row at home for the first time this season.
The matchup pits two of the league’s top three rebounders and two players in the top 10 in blocks.
Whiteside leads the league with 14.7 rebounds per game and Jordan is No. 3 with 12.6. Whiteside is fourth with 2.35 blocks while Jordan is ninth with 1.77.
Last season, Whiteside led the league in blocks and Jordan was runner-up. Jordan was second in rebounding, one spot ahead of Whiteside.
Where Whiteside separates himself is offensively. The Heat’s $98 million man is averaging 17.6 points while shooting 54.2 percent. Jordan, who is surrounded by scorers like forward Blake Griffin, point guard Chris Paul and J.J. Redick, is averaging 11.7 points this season, three points above his career norm, but is second in the league in shooting at 65 percent.
The comparisons extend to the free throw line where the two are among the worst in the league with Jordan shooting 54.1 percent and Whiteside 53.7.
“It don’t really matter to me who I’m guarding,” Whiteside said. “I just come out here and just play. He catches lobs. He has CP3 as a point guard.
“I kind of just compete against myself. I don’t really pay attention to any other centers. I’m still trying to beat 12 blocks (Whiteside’s career high). I don’t see any other centers. I just complete against Whiteside every day. I’m going to try to outdo myself last game.”
Whiteside is coming off a 26-point, 22-rebound, 2-block game in Miami’s victory over Indiana on Wednesday. Jordan had 22 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks in the Clippers win at Orlando on the same night.