Jordan Clarkson nearly costs the Utah Jazz a win over the New Orleans Pelicans

Poor shooting nearly sunk the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
New Orleans Pelicans v Utah Jazz
New Orleans Pelicans v Utah Jazz / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

On a night where the Utah Jazz challenged the New Orleans Pelicans for four full quarters, it was the likes of Keyonte George and Walker Kessler who really impressed with their outings. While George is still a defensive liability, when he can turn it on offensively, he's very impressive. Likewise, Kessler was every bit the stud that the Jazz and NBA media expected him to be in the preseason. He dropped 14 points and eight rebounds, while playing suffocating defense all night.

But it was neither George nor Kessler who were given the role of the team's lead with star player Lauri Markkanen out a second-straight game. No, it was Jordan Clarkson who tried to make it all about himself, again. Despite Collin Sexton and Ochai Agbaji playing great ball over the last few games, Clarkson was given the starting gig back after a brief absence. And it went as well as you'd expect.

Clarkson shot just 4-16 from the floor and 2-9 from three, all while playing the the worst defense imaginable. He did score 16 points, every bit of which was needed for the Jazz to defeat the Pelicans, but it's clear that the points Clarkson produces can't be found elsewhere, like with Sexton.

Yet, once again we're forced to watch Clarkson dominate the ball and slow the offense down. Respect where it's due, he did have 10 assists on the night, but when you shoot 25% from the floor, and you shoot more than 10 times, you're just hurting the team. No amount of assists will erase that.

The Jazz are handcuffed with Clarkson until January when he can be traded, and Utah will likely keep playing him in until then, with the idea that he could possibly build up his trade value a bit more in the process. But until Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy wakes up and realizes that Clarkson is holding the team back, then we're going to see Clarkson hurt the team more than helps.

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