2018-19 SEASON STATS
Listen to Jim Eichenhofer & Daniel Sallerson's Review of Ian Clark's 2018-19 Performance
After serving as sixth man for a 2017-18 New Orleans team that notched its best regular season record since ’09 and first playoff-series victory in a decade, Clark’s role fluctuated greatly throughout this season. He picked up a DNP in the opener at Houston, was in and out of the rotation for much of December, January and February, but then garnered by far his most playing time in the season’s closing weeks. Among the seven times Clark logged 30-plus minutes in a game, six of those instances occurred in injury-riddled New Orleans’ final six games. The guard didn’t even play 20-minutes in consecutive games until Feb. 4-6, but finished the campaign with 24, 31 and 20 points in April vs. Phoenix, Sacramento and Golden State, the team with which he won an NBA championship in ’17.
“You just want the opportunity, and that’s what I got,” Clark said of his spike in minutes. “Everyone wanted the season to go a little differently than it did, but you just try to find bright spots here and there. Personally, for me it was these last three weeks, being able to get on the floor and just play. You want to compete, and I had fun doing it.”
Injuries factored into Clark being a much more prominent part of the lineup late in ’18-19, but health also significantly diminished the Pelicans’ chances of repeating their team success from the previous season.
“It was definitely tough. Especially at the beginning of the season, when you look at the kind of season we could’ve had,” Clark said, alluding to NOLA’s 4-0 start with a healthy Elfrid Payton. “With everything changing and shifting, it’s tough for guys to kind of grab a rhythm, especially when you want to be competing for being in the playoffs. It was tough, but everyone has a job to do. You have to come out and be a professional, and be ready when your number is called… We had a lot of injuries hit, but I always felt like – especially because of what we did last year – that we had a chance to get on a roll.”
Although his past two seasons in the Crescent City have been strikingly different, Clark entered the offseason in a situation he’s become very accustomed to, with him slated to become a free agent July 1.
“It’s something I’m familiar with, obviously,” Clark said during his April 10 exit interview. “Every year I’ve been going into free agency in the summertime. I kind of approach it the same way. I let my agency do their job. Right now I’m going to get some rest, get ready for my offseason plan, training and getting back on the floor.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Points Clark scored in April, even though the Pelicans only played four games that month. It was his best total output in a month all season, other than March (100 points in 12 games).
Clark’s shooting percentages from the field and three-point range, respectively, in road games. Oddly, he shot noticeably better in away contests than he did at home (35.6 percent from field, 30.1 percent on treys).
Clark’s streak of years appearing in the playoffs, which ended this spring when the Pelicans were eliminated from postseason contention. He’s appeared in a total of 41 career playoff games, including eight NBA Finals contests, all with Golden State vs. Cleveland.
Top 10 Ian Clark Photos from the Pelicans 2018-19 Season VIEW GALLERY