J.R. Smith has surprised reaction to Jordan Clarkson’s 8 assists vs. Thunder
Cleveland Cavs guard Jordan Clarkson has established a reputation as being a shoot-first kind of guy. This is why teammate J.R. Smith reacted with such astonishment when he first learned about Clarkson’s eight-assist performance on Wednesday night’s 95-86 loss against the Orlando Magic.
“He had what? Jordan? Shit. I don’t know about that,” said Smith, via Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “That’s a career high, right?”
While this was not a career high for Clarkson, it is definitely an outlier in terms of his usual assist output for the Cavs. Since moving to Cleveland in the middle of last season, the 26-year-old has been given the role of the second unit’s primary offensive weapon. As a result, Clarkson’s assists have dropped to just 1.7 apg versus his career average of 2.7 dimes per contest.
Smith went on to say how much he admires Clarkson and his attitude towards the game.
“JC’s a great player. I love JC. He plays with so much intensity, firepower, heart, aggressiveness. He’s my type of player. I like that dude.”
Smith isn’t lying here. Clarkson has been fairly consistent for the struggling Cavs thus far. In 11 appearances this season, the 6-foot-5 combo guard is averaging 15.2 points on a career-best 47.3 percent shooting, 1.3 3-pointers, 2.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.3 turnovers in 23.6 minutes off the bench.
On Wednesday, Clarkson had arguably his best game of the young season as he flirted with a triple-double with 11 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
Hopefully, Clarkson is able to keep up the pace throughout the season as the Cavs will be needing every source of firepower they can get.