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2019-20 Preseason Profile: Jordan Clarkson

East's Top-Scoring Reserve Looks to Build on Big Season
by Joe Gabriele
Cavs.com Beat Writer

2019-20 Preseason Profile:
Jordan Clarkson

East's Top-Scoring Reserve Looks to Build on Big Season


The Tribe is chasing a playoff spot and the Browns just kicked off last Sunday. But if you’re jonesing for the great sports confluence, Cavaliers Media Day is Monday, September 30 – just 13 working days away.

With that in mind, Cavs.com decided to break down the current roster as we gear up for Training Camp – one per day until we tip off. At that point, you’ll start hearing it from the guys, themselves.

We’ll go in alphabetical order, and that means the top-scoring reserve in the Eastern Conference, Jordan Clarkson, starts us off.

Clarkson came into last year’s Training Camp with a bunch of new tattoos and he continued to add ink as the season progressed. He also established himself as one of the most lethal bench players in the game, notching double-figures in 72 games last year, tops in the league among reserves.

The Cavs acquired Clarkson, along with Larry Nance Jr., from the Lakers at the 2018 Trade Deadline, surrendering Channing Frye, Isaiah Thomas and a 2018 first rounder that turned out to be Moritz Wagner.

With both Los Angeles and Cleveland, Clarkson has been the model of consistency and durability. Over his last four seasons, the San Antonio native has averaged 15.2 points and 81 games played. Over his last 22 games last year, he failed to score in double-digits just once.

Here’s a deeper dive into J.C.’s 2018-19 campaign …


Last season, Jordan Clarkson topped Campy Russell for the Cavaliers all-time single-season scoring mark off the bench.
Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images


LOOKING BACK -- Only the Clippers’ Lou Williams – the NBA’s three-time and reigning Sixth Man of the Year – scored more points (1,485) than Clarkson last year, as the fifth-year pro from Tulane became just the 19th player in NBA history to score more than 1,300 points off the bench in a season.

Clarkson was also the major reason Cleveland ranked 6th in the league in bench scoring, averaging a franchise-record 42.6 points per. Last year, the Cavs second unit topped the 40-point mark 50 times, went for 50-plus 20 times, 60-plus five times, 70-plus twice and, in a thrilling triple-overtime loss to Brooklyn, went for a total of 83.

Clarkson scored 42 of those points – drilling a season-high seven bombs. It was the most points scored by a reserve in franchise history (topping Phil Hubbard’s 37), the first 40-point night of his career and the most by any Cavalier last season.

On the season, Clarkson averaged a career-best 16.8 points – 3rd best among all NBA bench players – topping the 20-point plateau on 25 occasions. In another game against the Nets, he became the first Cavs reserve to net at least 20 points and 10 boards in less than 30 minutes off the bench since 2014.

After struggling to find his true role in the months after his arrival at the Deadline two years ago, Clarkson solidified his spot with Cleveland and in the Eastern Conference. There won’t be any question marks about him or what he can do heading into this season.


BY THE NUMBERS: 1,364 … points that Jordan Clarkson scored off the bench this past season – eclipsing Sir Campanella Russell (1,210 in 1975-76) as the franchise’s all-time single-season leader.

And even though he posted a career-best scoring average, he still came up just short against probably the greatest sixth man in team history – Hot Rod Williams – who averaged 16.87 points per in 1989-90 compared to Clarkson’s 16.84 this past year.


LOOKING AHEAD -- This past offseason’s events – a new coaching staff, selecting three first rounders in June – should have little to no effect on Jordan Clarkson. He’s as comfortable in his role as a reserve as he is in his heavily-adorned skin.

Clarkson vowed to bounce back from his painful 2018 Playoff struggles and he did just that – tallying double-figures in the season’s first 13 games and barely slowing down from there. He started the season strong; he finished it strong.

Jordan has all the qualities a coaching staff would want: consistency, durability and the ability to score quickly and in bunches. He’s an easy-going dude off the hardwood, but he’s a testy competitor on it.

John Beilein and his staff won’t have any trouble figuring out how to use Numeral 8 this upcoming season.


Jordan Clarkson 2018-19 Highlights

Check out some of the best plays from Jordan Clarkson’s 2018-19 campaign with the Wine & Gold.

Clarkson Season Preview Playlist

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Jordan Clarkson 2018-19 Highlights

Check out some of the best plays from Jordan Clarkson’s 2018-19 campaign with the Wine & Gold.
Apr 16, 2019  |  02:44
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