So far preseason basketball for the Los Angeles have been positive with a 2-2 start. Much of their success stems from improved play from Jordan Clarkson. Since Kobe Byrant retired last year, Clarkson is now leading the team in points-averaging 13.5 per game. He has also put a huge emphasis on developing his 3 point shot and has greatly increased his defense. When Jordan has been on the court through the first couple of games, they outscored their opponent by 24.1 point per possession.
What has really shocked L.A fans is that head coach Luke Walton has moved Clarkson to the bench despite his improving play from the previous two seasons. Everyone is still trying to figure out why this move was made. Perhaps, Coach Walton is experimenting with Lou Williams in the starting lineup to increase scoring. Furthermore, Clarkson took this move very well and stated that he was ok with the move as long as he gets playing time and impacts the team’s success. This move has been described as the role Lamar Odem played during the Lakers championship runs in the late 2000’s. Lamar Odem was a very important part of the 2009-2010 Lakers team and contributed greatly without being in the starting lineup.
My personal belief is that Coach Walton is trying to see how he can maximize scoring with different starting lineups. Even though people are questioning this move, I like the idea of putting Lou Williams in the starting lineup. He is not good on defense, but you can count on him to give the team 15-20 points every night. With this being said, Clarkson has excelled in the starting lineup, but will play even better coming off the bench. Is this a good or bad move? Let me know what you think.