Jordan Clarkson continues to improve his shooting touch to help the Los Angeles Lakers enter the playoffs this season. The Filipino-American guard revealed that he’s been putting a hectic amount of work to improve his three-point shot.
In the recent offseason, Clarkson signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Lakers. He’s expected to have a larger role after the retirement of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. However, with the start of the season, coach Luke Walton decided to use Clarkson off the bench.
The Lakers made an impressive start and projected to enter the 2017 playoffs. However, after being hit by multiple injuries, they went on an eight-game losing streak and are currently in the 11th spot in the Western Conference. Walton finally changed his “Mr. Nice Guy” image and became stricter with his players.
In their recent games, Clarkson’s performance has noticeably improved, especially his three-point shot. In October, he only averaged 22.2 percent from beyond the arc. It improved to 33.3 percent in November and currently 39.6 percent this month.
Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams are the key players on Walton’s second unit. In most of the games, the two guards stepped up to help the team achieve victory. Per Serena Winters of Lakers Nation, Clarkson detailed his gym work to improve his three-point shot.
Jordan Clarkson also said he’s been in the gym every night working on his 3-point shot, building back up that confidence (on @SpectrumSN)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 21, 2016
WALTON WANTS CLARKSON TO BALANCE SCORING AND PLAYMAKING
Coach Luke Walton reminded Jordan Clarkson of his rookie season where he can balance scoring and playmaking. Walton encouraged him to bring back the same performance to be more useful for the team.
“We know he’s capable of doing it,” Walton said. We want him to be in attack mode but be ready to make the right play each time.”
In the last 10 games of his rookie season, Jordan Clarkson averaged 19.9 points on 49 percent shooting and seven assists. However, as what Walton noticed, the Filipino-American guard hit some unnecessary shots and has poor decision-making. Clarkson accepted Walton’s challenge and vowed to further improve his performance in the succeeding games.
“Just how aggressive I was,” Clarkson said. “Playing free, shooting the ball, not worrying about my last shots and stuff like that. Basically, just a confidence builder, knowing that I could do it. I’ve been struggling these last, whatever, four or five games. So [Walton] was just trying to do something to get me back in a rhythm.”
The Lakers are set to face the Miami Heat on Thursday night at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons
Video courtesy: Youtube/Lakers Direct