Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson Backcourt Showing Promising Future

LOS ANGELES — Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell might be the two most important players on the Los Angeles Lakers. Both are young and talented and possess several characteristics that are necessary for success in the modern game. 

Both have certainly struggled to find their way as inexperienced, high-volume options. But more important than their individual statistics is their on-court chemistry, which is crucial for a rebuilding team that hopes to have found its backcourt of the future. 

Do Russell and Clarkson complement one another? It’s an important question the Lakers coaching staff and front office need to figure out as soon as possible. The good news: The two have recently combined to take a critical step in the right direction. 

Every regular two-man roster combination the Lakers have is an abomination that gets badly outscored by the rest of the league. But within the frame of their own alliance, Russell and Clarkson are starting to look good. 

Now in his second season, Clarkson has been L.A.’s de facto starting point guard since Byron Scott shoved Russell to the bench back in early December. For numerous reasons, this decision stands as the most controversial and significant move of the season. Above all else, it split up L.A.’s presumed backcourt of the future. 

That’s bad news for Clarkson, who’s more comfortable creating opportunities for himself than for others. With the rookie in the lineup next to him, it alleviates some of the responsibilities that come with handling the ball.

According to, Clarkson shoots 42.3 percent from the floor and 26.5 percent behind the three-point line when Russell is off the floor. Those numbers spike to 45.5 percent and 40.8 (!) percent, respectively, when Russell is also on the court.

Additionally, Clarkson makes 58.5 percent of his attempts wi...

About the Author