Maybe all DeAndre Jordan needed was a challenge -- someone or something that would push him to be the player everyone thought he could be, or should be.

Maybe all he needed was Doc Rivers.

On the day he was introduced as the Clippers head coach last June, Rivers confidently told reporters that Jordan was talented enough to win the NBA's defensive player of the year award.

It may have seemed like a tall order at the time, but Jordan, the Clippers' agile and athletic center, could eventually fulfill Rivers' hope. In just 27 games, he's off to a promising start.