The Utah Jazz have seen Jordan Clarkson improve after a disastrous start but they can’t win with him as their number two option.
Jordan Clarkson’s hot bounce-back has ended, and no one should be surprised. While Clarkson had a great four-game streak to bounce back from a horrid start, when the Utah Jazz needed him to score points, he couldn’t do it. In the second of two-straight games against the Phoenix Suns, Clarkson biffed it big time, shooting just 8-23 from the floor (1-6 from three).
He finished the game with 22 points but shot a meager 34% on the night. And while Clarkson will have nights like this, as most players will, most players usually play solid defense. Not Clarkson. His defense was not on display against the Suns, who shot 50% from the floor, with the starting guards taking 45 total shots.
If Clarkson isn’t scoring, he isn’t helping in any tangible way. And when you look around at how other players faired at his position, namely Collin Sexton, we have to seriously wonder what Clarkson is bringing to the table other than poor shot selection and the ability to have a great game 30% of the time.
Sexton is more efficient, more consistent, and is as good (or bad) of a defender as Clarkson. The big difference between the two is that both men are likely to hit 8-12 shots per game, but Sexton historically and currently is just a better shooter. Why Sexton isn’t getting more minutes and more shot attempts is beyond us, but he’s proven to be a more reliable scorer.
Yet, Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy wants to live and die by Clarkson, a historically mediocre basketball player and is trying to force Clarkson to be the number two guy on the Jazz to Lauri Markkanen’s leading man ways.
He’s not that guy. He’s never been that guy and at 31 years old, we all seem to know that, but Hardy. Clarkson is better off coming from the bench and playing with the second unit.