Lakers' Jordan Clarkson getting chance to prove he can be a starter

Lakers rookie Jordan Clarkson is getting plenty of chances to start at point guard.

Just because Jordan Clarkson started his 10th consecutive game for the Lakers Wednesday night against Portland doesn't mean the rookie will always be a starting point guard in the NBA.

At least that's how Lakers Coach Byron Scott views it.

But Clarkson will be given every opportunity the rest of the season and over the summer to prove his worth.

"He's shown he can definitely play," Scott said. "I'm not going to go so far to say he can be a starting point guard. But I think he can definitely play and be in the rotation. How much he develops this summer remains to be seen."

Scott was reminded that Clarkson is the starting point guard over Jeremy Lin.

"You got a point," Scott said, smiling.

Clarkson, 22, continues to evolve even during the course of a game.

He was pretty steady against Denver on Tuesday night, but he slacked up on defense late, allowing Nuggets guard Ty Lawson to score an open jumper.

Scott pulled Clarkson out of the game and had a talk with him.

Clarkson had a career-high seven assists against Denver.

"He's like most rookies that have their ups and downs," Scott said. "They have their good days and bad days. The one thing I love about him is when he falls on his face a little bit, he gets right back up and ready for the next game. That's the competitive nature I want all of our point guards to have."

Clarkson has tried to accelerate his growth by working out with Steve Nash, who is out for the season with a back injury. Nash was a two-time most valuable player with the Phoenix Suns.

Scott said there are things the 6-foot-4 Clarkson can learn from Nash.

"Really the most important thing is his professionalism and work ethic. If you can take away those two things, then you'll come a long way," Scott said. "Steve, one thing about him, he is one of the hardest workers I've seen and very professional about the game and respects the game. If he can pass that down to Jordan, then it helps Jordan Clarkson a lot."

Good in reserve

Scott said there is a reason why Lin, Nick Young, Carlos Boozer, Ed Davis and Wesley Johnson are on the second unit.

"Our second unit really is our better unit right now," Scott said. "I like the way they play together."

Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
71°