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Perhaps the biggest influence Rivers has had in his first year with the Clippers has been on DeAndre Jordan.
After seeing his overall minutes decrease last year and his fourth quarter time disappear almost completely, terms like "overpaid" and "toxic" started to be associated with Jordan. Former head coach Vinny Del Negro had lost all faith in him, and it showed.
Rivers changed things right away, though, by using his clout and throwing all his weight firmly into Jordan's corner.
But it wasn't just lip service. Rivers gave Jordan clear goals and something to aspire to, and then he provided him with plenty of opportunity to accomplish it. Jordan received a fresh start, and he ran with it.
Chris Ballard's profile of Jordan for Sports Illustrated says a lot about Rivers' impact on the big center:
In discussing his renaissance, Jordan talks with the fervor of the converted. About how he goes after every single rebound. About how he focuses on defense 'first, second and third.' About how he has matured. And he cannot say enough good things about his coach. 'He's been everything for me this year,' Jordan says. 'I owe the guy the world.'
In his sixth season, Jordan has suddenly turned into one of the most productive centers in the NBA. He leads the league in rebounding and effective field-goal percentage, and he's posting career highs in points, blocks and PER.
You can tell that Jordan is more confident and no longer paralyzed by a fear of making mistakes, and Rivers deserves a lot of credit for that.