Lakers have three different ways to set starting lineup

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The lineup that lets Jordan Clarkson show us what he can really do

Starting lineup:

Lonzo Ball – PG
Jordan Clarkson – SG
Brandon Ingram – SF
Julius Randle – PF
Brook Lopez – C

The only change from the first lineup is the insertion of Jordan Clarkson over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. It’s not that Caldwell-Pope isn’t a good player or a solid veteran presence for Los Angeles, but let’s not act like the Lakers didn’t have to go out of their way to pay Jordan Clarkson.

$50 million over four years was what both parties agreed to during Jordan Clarkson’s short free agency stint last summer. Coming off the bench, Clarkson proved to be an invaluable weapon alongside Lou Williams.

Unfortunately, now that a consistent scorer like Williams is no longer with the team, it may be best for Los Angeles to switch up their approach when it comes to Clarkson. Giving him a shot in the starting lineup, so long as he earns it through training camp and the pre-season, allows not only his confidence to go up but gives breathing room for a potentially explosive back court involving him and Lonzo Ball.

Passing is going to be the strength of Ball in his rookie campaign, there’s no question there. What that does leave room for concern though is his shot, which was a success in the Summer League but could be a different story in the regular season.

Put Jordan Clarkson at the two and Ball can stay more focused on doing what he does best. What’s crazy is that in a player comparison done on, Clarkson and Caldwell-Pope aren’t really all that different.

Clarkson has a 0.9 edge in scoring (14.7) per game and a 0.1 lead in assists(2.6). Caldwell-Pope has the advantage in rebounds (3.3 to 3), steals (1.2 to 1.1), and blocks (0.2 to 0.1). These numbers are based just on last season alone.

If you were to switch the measuring stick to how they performed in the 2015-16 regular season, Clarkson actually has a stronger case than the other metric. He still outscores Caldwell-Pope by an average of one point, leads in rebounding and also has an advantage in assists.

The 0.1 difference when it comes to blocks is irrelevant, and outside of that, the only case for Caldwell-Pope starting over Clarkson is a 0.3 differential in the steals per game category.

Make Clarkson one of the primary scoring options while Ball focuses on facilitating, and this Lakers team is going to be seriously deadly.