The loss to the Houston Rockets shows us why Jordan Clarkson shouldn't play 30+ minutes

The Houston Rockets exposed Jordan Clarkson for his status as a walking liability
Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets
Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets / Tim Warner/GettyImages

It's easy to look at the Utah Jazz's loss to the Houston Texans as a hard-fought loss that sometimes just happens. But if you look deeper into the game, re-watch some film, and check out the box score, you'll see that a major reason the Rockets beat the Jazz is centered around poor perimeter defense, a common and recurring issue the Jazz have dealt with throughout the season.

It tapered off for a few weeks, but the last two losses to the Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder centered around the Jazz being unable to cut off the driving lanes for the team's respective guards, allowing a lot of shots in the paint. It also didn't help that guys like John Collins played as many minutes as he did, considering how easy it was to get shots off on him.

Yet, the biggest offender throughout the last games, aside from Collins, has been Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson started off poorly this season, becoming nearly unplayable, but he eventually corrected things, found his shot, and became a viable bench scorer. Yet, against the Thunder and especially the Rockets, Clarkson showed why his scoring isn't enough.

Against the Rockets, the bucket-getter put up 33 points, a team-high. On paper, a great night. He had a double-double and played nearly 40 minutes, you'd think he was a key contributor for why the team nearly won. Yet, if you watch his play, and keep an eye on his box score, you'd notice that he had a box plus minus of -7.

Meaning, that when he was on the court, the Jazz gave up more points than they scored. So how could someone give up over 30 points and have a negative BPM? Simple, he gave up more points than he scored. Offense is needed, sure, but without defense, you're never going to win a game, and Clarkson remains one of the worst defensive players, not just on the Jazz, but in the league.

He's fifth-worst in the league when it comes to defensive box plus-minus, that's not good. It's so bad in fact that there is a genuine concern if the Jazz, or anyone, can actually win with him being a vital piece of the puzzle. Clarkson works best when you play him 20-25 minutes a game and can hide him in rotations with Kris Dunn, Ochai Agbaji, and Walker Kessler.

Yet, when you play him for nearly 40 minutes and don't play him with the team's best defenders, he becomes a massive liability. He has value for the Jazz, and there isn't a need to necessarily trade him for the sake of trading him, but with how well the offense has developed with Collin Sexton's leading point, then it may not be the worst idea to consider moving Clarkson.

He's proven far more times than not that while being able to score, he gives up far more points on defense than he could make up for on offense. That's the sign of a losing basketball player. You can't win with a player who has a season BPM of -3.0. You just can't.

Next. The Jazz fall short in Houston. The Jazz fall short in Houston. dark