Utah Loses Top Scorer for at Least Two Weeks
If you’re all about the youth movement and letting the kids get minutes, shots, and opportunities over the veterans in what seems like a lost season, then take courage.
If you were hoping that the Jazz would finally get healthy and in turn, start playing winning basketball with their currently constructed roster, then plan on the second-best scorer missing two weeks if not more.
The Jazz announced that 31-year-old Guard, Jordan Clarkson, has been diagnosed with a hamstring strain and will be reevaluated in two weeks’ time.
Clarkson is currently the second highest points per game scorer on the team averaging 16.6 a night.
JC’s 30.8 minutes a night is third on the team, meaning the Jazz will have to tinker with lineups both to replace scoring value and minutes played.
Despite the usage of Clarkson, context would demonstrate that it’s been a very frustrating start to the season for the former 6th man of the year.
After agreeing to a 3-year extension this prior offseason worth 55 million, Clarkson is putting forth a lot of career lows in his recent 19 games, much to the dismay of Jazz fans.
As a certified fan favorite in Utah, fans have been disappointed to see his body language and on court production as the team around him fails to put forth any type of sustainable effort.
Veterans should be the consistent aspect of inconsistent teams as they fight through growing pains, yet for Utah that’s been far from the truth.
39.9 percent from the field and 29.5 percent from deep are Jordan’s worst shooting marks of his career up to this point. In short, his effective field goal percentage of 45.3 would be almost three percent worse than his rookie year on a terrible Lakers team in 2014.
3 turnovers a night places Clarkson in a current tie with last years edition of JC for worst marks of his career. Both years are a full turnover worse than the third worst turnover season which he put forth in 2016.
Despite the shooting and turnover woes form a high-volume shooter, Utah will miss his 4.9 assists per game, which is currently a career high in average assists for the flame thrower. Clarkson trails only Keyonte George for assist per game on this team.
Despite the loss of Clarkson, Utah does have potential reinforcements. The Jazz are gearing up to welcome back John Collins who missed last game with an illness.
Collins isn’t the only forward returning as last year’s All-Star, Lauri Markkanen, is poised to make his first start in 8 games as he battled hamstring tightness. Neither is a guarantee for tonight’s showdown with the Knicks, but both have had their injury status elevated, guaranteeing a return, sooner rather than later.
In two weeks, or the timeframe in which Clarkson will be looked at again to determine his ability to play ball, the Jazz will be 8 games further into the season, 6 of which will be on the road where Utah has gone 1-11 this year.
Clarkson took to social media to express his thoughts:
Clarkson can only control what’s in front of him, but this season has proven that his team likely won’t be able to do the same.