Clarkson's rise for Cavs impresses former coach Walton
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 14, 2019 04:02 PM
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 11, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton said that he is not surprised by Cleveland Cavaliers Fil-Am guard Jordan Clarkson's rise as one of the main guns of the team.
Clarkson has emerged as the active top scorer of the defending Eastern Conference Champions, who are in a rebuilding phase after the loss of superstar LeBron James, coincidentally to the Lakers.
The 46th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft is norming 17.1 points per game for the Cavs, a career-high, just behind All-Star Kevin Love's 19.0 marker average. However, Love is not playing and has been out for a considerable amount of time as he heals from a foot injury.
"He won plenty of games for us; when he gets cooking it’s hard to stop him. He can get downhill, he can shoot from three, got a nice pull up. It’s good to see him have the success he’s having," the Lakers mentor said in an interview with ABS-CBN News' Steve Angeles.
Despite just scoring nine points on 4-of-11 shooting in his second return to Staples Center, Clarkson's squad snapped a 12-game losing streak, notching just their ninth win of the season.
Moreover, the Cavaliers have won both of their games against the Lakers in Los Angeles since trading Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr. for Isaiah Thomas, forward Channing Frye and Cleveland’s own 2018 protected first round pick back in February of 2018.
Even though the fifth-year guard underwhelmed in performing at the cavernous venue, he was in high spirits, especially after his team got the win over the 16-time NBA champs.
"It feels good, just a team effort. It's just a great team win; a lot of guys in double figures. We got down, played defense. We came out with a good one," the 6'5" Clarkson told Angeles.
"Just continue to work, work on my craft. Today they was blitzing, getting the ball out of my hands a lot. So it was something I gotta continue to work on. Teams have been doing that to me a lot, but other than that it's just been good year for me, trying to score the ball trying to win games," He added.
Including this latest win, Clarkson is averaging a career-best 17.0 points on 45.5 percent shooting, with 3.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 0.8 steals, all coming off the bench.