Between second-year guard Jordan Clarkson and rookie D’Angelo Russell, the Los Angeles Lakers could potentially have one of the more exciting backcourts to watch develop over the next few years.
The two guards appeared to develop a near-immediate chemistry during their time in the Las Vegas Summer League, and that bond has reportedly grown even stronger over the months that have followed according to LakersNation.com reporter, Serena Winters:
The Russell and Clarkson duo has received quite a bit of attention as of late, even Russell jokingly described their relationship as “Thing One” and “Thing Two,” a reference to Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat.
Although the reference to those characters may have been of a playful nature, there’s actually a lot of truth to the analogy. While there are several distinct differences between their skill sets, part of the appeal of pairing the two young guards is specifically due to their interchangeability and the flexibility it provides for the coaching staff. Russell may be the more natural playmaker, but Clarkson certainly appears to be the more explosive between the two.
Perhaps the most impressive characteristic shared by the duo is the fact that Clarkson and Russell, just 23 and 19 (respectively) don’t appear fazed or overwhelmed by the challenges ahead. Patience will be important as the two will almost undoubtedly have up-and-down nights in the early going. That said, there should be plenty to be encouraged by even in the event of a difficult matchup.
Over the course of about nine months, the Lakers essentially went from depending upon Kobe Bryant to be the driving force behind a majority of the offense to suddenly having multiple playmaking and scoring threats in the backcourt that are just touching the tip of the proverbial iceberg in terms of their potential.