Jordan Clarkson vs. Andrew Wiggins, Shooting Statistics


It has been a tough ride for the Lakers this season.  With Julius Randle out for the season beginning with game one, the rest of the season was tough to watch.  The Lakers relied on multiple NBDL players and other rookies just to carry a roster up to the last game. Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black, Dwight Buycks, Jabari Brown, and Vander Blue helped kept the team going.  However, of the crop of rookies the Lakers had on the floor, Jordan Clarkson is the one who stood out.

It shouldn’t be a surprise.  Last year, he went from a full NCAA season, to Pre-Draft Camp, to the NBA draft, to the Vegas Pro League, to a tournament in Canada, and then had additional coaching to work on his individual skills before the NBA preseason.  His season alone was longer than everyone else.  Simply put, he was the hardest working rookie out there, and it showed on the basketball floor.  Steve Nash’s tutelage from the midseason helped further his improvement.

He was the best part of the Laker season.  Fans were excited about his play.  He improved so much.

How can we measure that improvement?  It’s tough to say.  Some project he’s the next starting point guard for the Lakers, and perhaps, justifiably so.  Others think he can be the third-rotation guard, almost a Jamal Crawford-type, but at point guard or shooting guard.  That’s a fair expectation as well.

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What stands out most, his how well he fared against Rookie of the Year favorite, Andrew Wiggins.  We’re going to look at the number of field goal attempts by range, the field goal percentages within those ranges, usage percentage, and turnover rate.

Jordan Clarkson

FG% by Distance
0-3′ 66.5%
3′-10′ 32.4%
10′-16′ 47.6%
16′-21′ 38.6%
3point 31.5%

Right off the bat, we’re looking at a point guard that is an elite finisher at the rim.  Really, anything about 60% is good. Anything near 70%, and you have a player that finishes as well as DeAndre Jordan and Tyson Chandler on the floor.  His mid-range percentage is outstandingly high from 10′-16′, and up to 21′, still good.  Now contrast that to Andrew Wiggins.

Andrew Wiggins

FG% by Distance
0-3′ 66.5%
3′-10′ 34.7%
10′-16′ 38%
16′-21′ 30.5%
3point 31%

Almost across the board, the numbers look similar, but it’s easy to see how Jordan Clarkson is a simply better perimeter shooter.

Well, maybe Andrew Wiggins gets more attempts at the rim?  After all, he’s an elite level athlete with great physical tools.  That is definitely fair reasoning, but the numbers come out much closer than most would think.

Jordan Clarkson

FGA by Distance
0-3′ 28.5%
3′-10′ 18.1%
10′-16′ 10.6%
16′-21′ 22.1%
3point 20.3%

USG 23%
TO 12.6%

It’s almost shocking to see that nearly 30% of Clarkson’s shot volume is at the rim.  If anything, it would make more sense to take more mid-range shots.  After all, he shoots at a 47.6% clip from 10′-16′.

Andrew Wiggins

FGA by Distance
0-3′ 30.7%
3′-10′ 19.3%
10′-16′ 16.2%
16′-21′ 22.5%
3point 11.1%

22.6% USG
11.7% TO

Once again, nearly across the board, the numbers look similar.  Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Clarkson get nearly the same amount of shots at the rim.  They get nearly the same amount of shots in the painted area.  Clarkson opts for more 3-point shots, but it’s easy to see the discrepancy from mid-range, especially when Wiggins added a high-post game after All-Star break.  Altogether, it’s close enough, especially when considering the difference in positions on the floor. Even the usage rate and turnover rates are eerily similar. Andrew Wiggins may be the number one offensive option on his team, but it’s Clarkson who is setting up the team.  The fact that the turnover rate and usage rate is so close, tells a lot about how both players are handling the responsibility well.

It’s easy to get excited about Jordan Clarkson.  He’s the best rookie prospect since Andrew Bynum.  He’s arguably the best point guard since Nick Van Exel.  As the season progressed, his playing time went up, and he only got better.

Shooting may be an indication of things to come.  We can’t wait to see him healthy on the floor next season.  Once he adds a deadly three-point shot and improved ability to get into the passing lanes, the sky is the limit, maybe even as high as Andrew Wiggins.