Lakers News: Jordan Clarkson ready for increased pressure as new bench leader; Walton urges JC to be a playmaker

Jordan Clarkson is the best player of the LA Lakers
Jordan Clarkson is the best player of the LA Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers’ decision to unload some of their veterans before the trade deadline enabled the young players to have more opportunity to grow. After they traded Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets, Jordan Clarkson revealed that the pressure is increased on him as he’s expected to produce more off the bench.

Lou Williams became the leading scorer of the Lakers despite coming off the bench. As a Laker this season, he averaged 18.6 points and 3.2 assists on 44.4 percent shooting from the field and 38.5 percent from beyond the arc. Few hours before the trade deadline, his stint in Los Angeles came to an end after being traded to the Rockets.

Despite losing their main contributor, the trade enables their young backcourt players to have more time to improve. In their recent loss to the Charlotte Hornets, Jordan Clarkson led the bench in scoring with 16 points together with three assists.

“I feel more comfortable just because there’s a lot of opportunities out there,” Clarkson said. “It’s coming back to you and stuff like that, the ball is. When you’re in that situation, you can make more plays for your teammates. You don’t relax. But you can kind of see the game and it kinds of comes to you instead of forcing it and being aggressive.”

Luke Walton wants to see Jordan Clarkson be a playmaker

After the Lakers traded Lou Williams, Jordan Clarkson will now serve as the leader of their second unit. Earlier this season, coach Luke Walton urged Clarkson to bring back his rookie season performance. Walton let the Filipino-American guard watch the film of the last 10 games of his rookie season when he averaged 19.9 points and 7 assists while shooting 49 percent from the field.

Walton praised Clarkson for doing a good job in adapting a larger role. However, until now, they continue to push him to be more involved in running the team’s offense.

“Jordan has done a nice job of being aggressive to score and also trusting his teammates,” Walton said. “He knows the coaching staff wants to see him be a playmaker.”

Walton and his staffs believed that Clarkson will be more productive as a playmaker than an isolation player. Clarkson knows he still has lots to improve, especially on the defensive end. Before the trade deadline, it was revealed that multiple NBA teams inquired about his availability on the market.

However, the Lakers refused to include Clarkson in any deal. This only means that the Lakers are considering him as part of their long-term plan. Getting the most out of the opportunity in front of him and following his coaches’ advice will help him become one of the essential players of the purple and gold.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

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