Earl Clark: Is he legit?
It's no secret that Earl Clark has been quite a surprise for the Los Angeles Lakers as they continue to find their niche as a team. The 4-year player out of Louisville didn't get much burn in Phoenix nor Orlando, only averaging 10 minutes a game for his first 3 years. Now with Pau Gasol out with the foot injury, a beacon of minutes has opened up for Clark and he has definitely responded. As a starter this season, Clark is averaging 11 points, almost 9 rebounds and shooting the ball well (47%fg, 41%3pt). So is the kid legit or just another product of the D'Antoni System that is well known for inflating stats? Thoughts?
He's in a CONTRACT YEAR!!! Most players seem to have career years when its time to re-up...
SO Check Back around this Time in 2014......
I think he found his role and is finally playing up to the potential he had coming out of college. I think if he can keep his motor up like this he'll be a solid player in the future.
I'd like to think he is. I have always been a fan of his since he was back at Louisville. He's long, athletically gifted, can finish (57.7% FG in the paint) and this year he has really been proving he can step out and hit an open jumper (42% 3p). I don't think he'll keep that pace going, but he isn't a poor shooter. At the very least he can be a great energy guy off the bench who rebounds the ball well, but to say he'll be more than a solid starter in the next couple years might be pushing it. This is a guy who has been in the three years and until the past month had shown little signs of improvement or deserving of more playing time. However that might have just been a product of lack of opportunity, either way he's earned a good look from a lot of teams this off season...
I believe he has worked for it.
"He sits right next to me on plane rides so I talk to him and he always tells me that he is ready to play and he definitely was tonight. He played phenomenal against a heck of a team with some great forwards so I was very impressed."
When I heard Kobe say that about him in early January I believed he was finally ready to play. Going and grabbing more boards than all star players and suddenly being able knock down jumpers (even off the dribble) isn't something that can come because of 'a system that inflates stats'.
No, I agree with you, he has shown some real flashes of his skill level lately. But I definitely think the system helps him, I would be surprised if many coaches outside of D'Antoni would be as content with him settling for so many outside shots, that doesn't make him a worse player. If he continues to prove he can operate efficiently outside and in he could be a real weapon....
I think the thing is, he's finally getting playing time. Steven Kerr who drafted him said they drafted him to be a wing defender in Phoenix, because of his physical attributes, well we've seen ton of players with the attributes who have never became elite defenders, When you look at his per 36 stats, they're actually pretty much the same as his averages now. Also when he got to play in Orlando, he actually produced when he got to played due to injuries..
He's playing well but he's not going to be mistaken for a could be all-star like people thought he could have been when he got drafted. I think the only thing that has changed in his production is playing time. His jump shot does look a little improved though.
Earl Clark is LUCKY to have D'Antoni as a coach and it is sweeter to be in his contract year. If he was on any other team he wouldn't be dropping these numbers.
This situation is sort of reminiscent of Trevor Ariza when he was with LA, A really nice role player on the wing but probably will be a disaster being paid to be a starter.