Since the start of the season, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton urged Jordan Clarkson to bring back his rookie performance where he can balance scoring and playmaking. The Filipino-American guard continues to show improvements and follows Walton’s advice.
“I’m trying to find that balance again,” Clarkson said. “I’ve been thrown into different roles each and every year. So coming off the bench, coach got me in a role where I can have the ball and do some things with it. I try to get my teammates shot and continue to make plays.”
Jordan Clarkson is currently playing his third season with the Lakers. Despite mostly coming off the bench, Walton sees to it that Clarkson will have enough playing time to showcase his talent. With the departure of Lou Williams, the 24-year-old shooting guard admitted the increased pressure as he’s now tasked to become the leader of the second unit.
However, Clarkson believes that it gave him a larger opportunity to unleash his full potential. In the Lakers’ 118-116 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, he managed to bring back the “Clarkson” that Walton wanted to see. Clarkson tied his career-high 30 points together with season-high eight assists.
Instead of shooting jumpers, Clarkson penetrated the basket and made good plays for his teammates. However, he admitted that he needs to undergo a huge adjustment in order to balance scoring and playmaking. Clarkson claimed that it has been a “slow process” but expressed his willingness to do everything for the team.
Luke Walton explains why Jordan Clarkson remains as sixth man
Before the start of the season, most people expected Jordan Clarkson to be the Lakers starting shooting guard. Unfortunately, Nick Young stole the starting role while Clarkson came off the bench. In their recent game against the Sixers, coach Luke Walton decided to demote “Swaggy P” to the bench.
However, the decision wasn’t to move Clarkson to the starting lineup but to give David Nwaba and Tyler Ennis the opportunity to showcase their skills. Walton gave an explanation why Clarkson remains as their sixth man.
“I wanted to keep him on the ball and play a lot of those minutes as a primary ball handler,” Walton said. “That wouldn’t be the case in the starting group.”
As Walton said, Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell can’t play together because both of them operate as ball-handling guards. Clarkson seems to understand Walton’s decision and vowed to continue improving to help the team immediately return to title contention.
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