Is Earl Clark’s emergence the beginning of Pau Gasol’s demise?

By David Charnley
Troy Taormina-US Presswire


The drama of the Los Angeles Lakers season continues as Earl Clark is turning into a productive starter bringing into question the role of Pau Gasol.

In recent weeks Gasol’s role switches back and forth from bench to starting, to starting to bench, Earl Clark could well be helping Mike D’Antoni make up his mind.

In the 10 starts that Clark has made for the Lakers, he is averaging 10.1 points a game, 8.6 rebounds and can even add 57% shooting from three point area in to his game, something that Gasol can’t claim to make.

The fact that Clark is proving productive, his work rate is also more positive marks into why he should be starting, but it is his ability to shoot the three ball which is the biggest surprise.

This season Clark has shot 12/22 from beyond the arc (54.5%), which becomes even more astounding when you realize he didn’t make a single three pointer in each of the two seasons that he has played in the NBA.

Before arriving in LA, Clark shot 2-15 in (13.3%) in his first three seasons in the league.

D’Antoni likes his athleticism, speed and ability to defend multiple positions. The offensive work that he is laying down as well is complementing Dwight Howard more than what Pau Gasol can do.

Gasol and Howard can play together. D’Antoni hasn’t maximized their potential, but given how much slower the Lakers’ roster is in comparison to most of the league, the Clark decision makes a lot of sense.

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