Welcome to a new series at FB&G where we will take one player on the Lakers’ roster and discuss one specific skill they possess. Sometimes it will be something very subtle, others it will be more straight forward. We’ll try to shed some light on how this skill can help the team in the coming season. First up in our series (or, second up, if you count Roy Hibbert’s boxing out) is Jordan Clarkson and his mid-range jumpshot. Enjoy.
The NBA is an ever changing game. Go watch tape of the 1980’s or early 1990’s and compare it to the version of the game you see today. The game of my youth only bares a slight resemblance to the version played today.
Efficiency is the buzzword of the 2010’s, with teams striving for offensive possessions to end with a shot at the rim, a three point attempt, or a free throw. These are the shots that optimize offensive output so they are the shots sought after.
But every shot cannot come from those places. The NBA halfcourt is 2,350 square feet and the offenses which can threaten defenses from the most amount of that space are going to find themselves the most difficult to defend. And while more and more teams cut out the mid-range shot from their arsenal, the players who can thrive in this area can not only exploit defenses by making the shots opponents are most willing to cede, but they can open up opportunities for their teammates.
Jordan Clarkson is one such player. Here is a simplified shot chart for Clarkson from the games after the all-star break (when he became a key part of the rotation):