LOS ANGELES – DeAndre Jordan has turned his most embarrassing weakness into a strength worth celebrating, yet getting him to talk about it is no easy task.
Why not? Because not talking about it means not thinking about it, and not thinking about it was the secret to fixing the problem.
The Dallas Mavericks center’s free throw shooting woes were so entrenched heading into this season that they were almost part of his charm, with a career mark of 45.0 percent spread over a decade.
This season has seen an extraordinary revolution in his productivity from the stripe, with the 6’11 former Los Angeles Clipper firing at a 82.4 percent clip heading into Friday’s home clash with the New York Knicks.
That kind of shift is way beyond a typical level of improvement and doesn’t come close to falling within your standard deviation based on a sample size that is still relatively small. It’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder if there isn’t an imposter wearing a Jordan mask suiting up for the Mavs each night, while still retaining all of the big man’s rebounding and defensive skills.
“I’m trying not to think about it as much (as before),” Jordan told USA TODAY Sports, when asked what he had changed. The whole “not thinking” thing might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Jordan, 30, used to think and think and overthink, his mind tortured by the expectation of failure and the potential for humiliation, and it would drive him to distraction.
Opposition crowds knew o