Los Angeles Lakers: Jordan Clarkson struggles in first round of playoffs

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 20: Jordan Clarkson
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 20: Jordan Clarkson /

Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson was supposed to be a big help for the Cleveland Cavaliers off the bench. So far in the playoffs, he has struggled.

At the trade deadline this season, the Los Angeles Lakers made a big trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers to send Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to Cleveland. With the Lakers, both Clarkson and Nance were good players and the Cavaliers hoped that they would provide quality depth for them in the postseason. However, that has not been the case for Clarkson.

The Cavaliers were able to survive in seven games against the Indiana Pacers, but that was mostly because of LeBron James. In the series, James played extremely well, as he basically carried the team to the second round.

There was a lot of talk about the supporting cast for James playing poorly, and one of the most notable players was Clarkson. Against the Pacers, Clarkson averaged just 4.4 points per game, which was well below his season averages.

In the seven-game series, Clarkson was able to total in double figures just once in a Game 4 win. Besides that game, Clarkson played very poorly in the series. While the first round was not a good showing by Clarkson, the poor play could be due to this being his first series in the playoffs.

For a young player like Clarkson, he never got to experience any playoff basketball. Also, being on the same team with James comes with a lot of pressure and expectations. Now that the Cavaliers have advanced, Clarkson will be able to have a fresh start against the Toronto Raptors in the next round.

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While the Pacers played the Cavaliers very well, the Raptors are going to be a much tougher challenge. Even though Clarkson isn’t a starter for the Cavaliers, the team does expect him to score off the bench for them. So far, he hasn’t provided much of a spark for the Cavaliers. If the Cavaliers want to beat the Raptors, Clarkson must play better.