Tag Archives: Jordan Clarkson

Jordan Clarkson & D’Angelo Russell Shine In Summer League Debut

The Los Angeles Lakers shook the scales when they drafted D’Angelo Russell over Jahlil Okafor with the second pick in the 2015 NBA draft. If their debut in the 2015 Summer League is any indication, pairing him alongside Jordan Clarkson will give the Lakers a versatile and athletic tandem in the back-court.

Russell controlled the offense and scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds, and dished out six assists with three steals. Clarkson scored a team-high 23 points.

Lakers Pick Up The Pieces: Roy Hibbert

XXIV, PAGE 24, Lakers

After being rejected by LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, and Greg Monroe, the Los Angeles Lakers salvaged their summer of free-agency by trading for two-time All-Star Roy Hibbert.

Hibbert is by no means a franchise player like Aldridge, but does address a need on defense. In the 2014-2015 season, the Lakers were 29th in both defensive rating and opponents points per game. Hibbert is a 7’2 legitimate center that will provide instant rim protection..

The move allows the Lakers to keep their financial flexibility. Hibbert is 28 (younger than Aldridge) and in the final year of his contract, which should provide added incentive to play well.

In this edition of P.A.G.E. 24 we analyze why the Lakers haven’t been able to lure free-agents to Los Angeles the past few summers, and how Roy Hibbert can help their young core.

Jordan Clarkson has that bounce in his game

Doc Rivers sent them boys at him.

After winning Western Conference Rookie of the Month, Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers held upstart Jordan Clarkson to 2 points in a 106-78 shellacking over the Los Angeles Lakers.

He had been the talk of the town, scoring 30 points against Russell Westbrook while putting together a string of impressive games against elite Western Conference point-guards. The Clippers were well aware of it. Paul, an MVP candidate, led the reality check against Clarkson, and the ‘Watts Towers ‘ duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan provided solid interior help-defense.

Clarkson was officially welcomed into relevancy  by getting schemed against on defense. 

What followed was a humiliating defeat for the Lakers which included a deficit of 43 points. Head Coach Byron Scott said he wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with some of the players who didn’t seem interested in competing. But how would Jordan Clarkson respond to having a bad game following his award-winning month?

Scott’s message resonated with the team,  and although the Lakes were again defeated by the Clips 105-100, they displayed more interest in not being completely humiliated. Clarkson finished with 20 points in 3 quarters and made adjustments to the attention he will now receive on defense. Instead of hanging his head in the face of a superior opponent, Clarkson accepted the challenge of knowing that he will be on the opposition’s radar screen. 

 Greatness is measured in part by how a player responds to adversity. Jordan Clarkson proved he has the mental toughness to accompany his gifted physical abilities.

 

Jordan Clarkson should make NBA All-Rookie Team

Most coups occur in the middle of the night when regime change by force is unexpected. The Los Angeles Lakers executed one in plain sight during the 2014 NBA Draft with their selection of Jordan Clarkson.

Clarkson was the 46th pick in the second-round.  His 10 ppg average is more than the point-guards selected ahead of him, most notably lottery picks Dante Exum (4), and Marcus Smart (7), and LeBron James recruit, Miami’s Shabazz Napier (5). Milwaukee’s Tyler Ennis is averaging 3 ppg after being selected 18th, Detroit Piston Spencer Dinwiddie (4), and Houston Rocket Nick Johnson (2) were both selected ahead of Clarkson.  

Despite the Lakers’ forgettable season, Jordan Clarkson has taken it upon himself to remind everyone why teams had him as a first-round selection on many draft boards.

Clarkson recently scored a career-high 30 points against MVP candidate Russell Westbrook, drawing faint comparisons by Lakers Head Coach Byron Scott to the athletic scoring OKC Thunder point-guard.

Clarkson’s steal and furious slam dunk on Exum in a 100-97 Lakers win over the Jazz was evidence that he is further along in his game than the 19-year-old Aussie. Some may still believe Exum has a higher ceiling, but Clarkson’s college experience at Missouri is evident in his polished game.

After beginning the season in the shadows of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash,  and  Jeremy Lin, Clarkson is poised to finish at the controls. His dynamic play has earned trust from his coaches and teammates.

His statistical averages of 10 points 2 rebounds and 2 assists alone garner All-Rookie recognition. But Jordan Clarkson is providing Lakers’ fans with realistic hope for next year.  For that seemingly insurmountable task alone, he should be rewarded.

Jordan Clarkson is ready to be an L.A. Boss

 

It wasn’t simply Jordan Clarkson’s throw down dunk on Dante Exum. It was him stealing the ball from the Australian sensation beforehand which initiated the instant classic hi-lite. Los Angeles Lakers rookie Jordan Clarkson symbolically had his coming out party in a 100-97 win in Utah against the Jazz.

While the Lakers are racking up injuries, DNP-CD’s, and overall bad vibes, Jordan Clarkson infused hope for the future with one facial that will surely stay in rotation for seasons to come.

Clarkson has now earned league-wide credibility.  Players are wacthing YouTube, Vine, and are just as engaged on Twitter as any fan. Best believe the next defender will think twice about challenging Jordan Clarkson at the rim, lest they get Dante Exumed. There is visual evidence that he got game. Jordan Clarkson wants to be that dude and his chance has arrived.

Now this may not have been Jordan in the back-court Kobe Bryant dreamt of playing alongside in his fleeting thoughts to sign  with the Washington Wizards earlier in the decade. But Clarkson’s tenacity fulfills the prerequisite of being accepted by Bryant. After years of having to defend the other teams point guards, Clarkson’s athleticism should relieve Bryant of the burden for the remainder of his career. Defensively the Lakers can finally address Stephen Curry, Damian Lilliard, Russell Westbrook, and the long list of guards who dominate the Western Conference.

With four draft-picks this off-season, and the return of Julius Randall, Jordan Clarkson is poised to lead the youth movement in Los Angeles.

 

P.A.G.E. 24 – The Lakers Are A Blood Moon Rising

Kobe Bryant answered the doubters, Steve Nash got to the basket, and rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson showed they are ready to make an immediate impact, as the Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets 98-95 in their pre-season opener.

In this chronicle of P.A.G.E. 24, Kobe, Nash, and Coach Byron Scott reflect on the initial victory, and what surprise Laker is an early favorite to be the key X-Factor.

In association with the ‘World-Wide LakerGang 4 LIFE’ #WWLG4L Network, it’s Purple And Gold Everything 24.

Jordan To Give Lakers’ Defense Air

Kobe Bryant had to cover Byron Scott as a rookie in training camp as a third-string shooting-guard.

Rookie Jordan Clarkson got christened into training camp by receiving the defensive assignment against Bryant.

Clarkson was taken to task in the post, going for fakes as Bryant hit fade-away jumpers.

“He’s a hard worker,” said Bryant after practice. “He’s a curious player, so he really tries to pick things apart. I was trying to test him.”

A place where an immediate impact on the floor can be made as a rookie is on the defensive end. There may not be many shots for Clarkson, but defending at the guard position in the Western Conference is a necessity.

With an aging Steve Nash, Clarkson could see minutes against speedy guards like Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Tony Parker, and Ty Lawson because of his energy on defense.

Phil Jackson named Cleveland Cavilers Assistant Coach Tyronn Lue to the 2001 Lakers playoff roster over Isaiah Rider in large part due to his defensive abilities. Lue helped the Lakers match-up against ball dominating guards like Jason Williams, Damon Stoudamire, and Allen Iverson, on their way to a historic 15-1 playoff record, and culminating in back-to-back titles.

While at Missouri, Clarkson averaged 17 points per game, almost 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
He was chosen second-team All-SEC, and earned three league player-of-the-week honors.

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchack may have gotten the steal of the draft, as many analysts had him slated to go late in the first-round.

Kobe: I Am What I Am

In a failed attempt to discuss something other than his health, a reporter at the Lakers’ second day of practice asked Kobe Bryant about the Kevin Love trade to Cleveland.

“Great trade for them? I don’t know,” he replied. “You guys are killing me, man. You guys are rusty.”

Bryant chiding the media for needing to get on their game was a turning of the tables from the ten minutes of questions he had to answer regarding his age, health, and how his body felt after two days of practice.

“I am what I am right now. I don’t know how to best say that, but I’m me,” he said, in that familiar Kobe monotonous tone.

Bryant primarily attacked from the post, something his predecessor Michael Jordan did in the final years of his career. It will remain to be seen if Coach Byron Scott will have him operating from that spot on the floor come the regular season.

“Kobe did great,” said Scott. “You could tell he was getting his legs under him, his wind is good, the rust is starting to come off.

One of the greatest challenges for an aging player who is returning from injury is the mental aspect, and having to acknowledge the physical shortcomings that accompany time. Bryant seems poised to work within his new limitations.

“There would be certain guys who when I was younger I could beat with quickness and now probably not,” he said. “You make those adjustments kind of from game to game. It depends on who you’re matching up with.”

Lakers Hold First Scrimmage

The Los Angeles Lakers held their first team scrimmage.

On one team was Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer.

The B-Team featured Jeremy Lin, Nick Young, Ed Davis and rookies Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle.

“I love what I saw with Kobe and Steve,” said Scott. “Steve impressed me and Kobe impressed me.”

Bryant was matched up against with Jordan Clarkson who endured a physical battle with the wily veteran.

“I was trying to test him. He’s a hard worker. He’s a curious player, so he really tires to pick things apart” said Bryant.”

The majority of time spent in training camp so far has been dedicated to working on conditioning and defense.

Clarkson, already showing signs of being a smart player, pulled Bryant to the side after practice to ask for guidance.

They discussed “defensive technique, chasing guys off of screens, and how to hide from the pick and not get picked,” said Bryant.

Ryan Kelly sat out with a moderate hamstring strain, as did Xavier Henry, who is still recovering from knee surgery.

Scott said he would sit both Bryant and Nash out of the Lakers next practice.

The starters won the scrimmage, 18-9