Lakers’ Byron Scott, Jordan Clarkson dismiss hitting rookie wall

Lakers#6 Jordan Clarkson is contested by "n21" and Nuggets#23 Jusuf Nurkic in the first half. The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA February 10, 2015.  (Photos by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Lakers#6 Jordan Clarkson is contested by “n21” and Nuggets#23 Jusuf Nurkic in the first half. The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA February 10, 2015. (Photos by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

A speedy and sharpshooting point guard kept attacking him. A suffocating defense kept swarming him. A recent shooting slump kept following him.

Yet, Lakers rookie guard Jordan Clarkson stayed calm throughout the process. He stayed locked in on defense. He still created open looks. He knocked those shots down, too.

Sure, Clarkson still committed three first-quarter turnovers in the Lakers’ 108-105 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday at Oracle Arena, which prompted Lakers coach Byron Scott to yank him. Clarkson also sat in the fourth quarter until the final 3:30 shortly after Jeremy Lin committed two of his five turnovers on consecutive possessions.

But Clarkson still quashed any notion that he may have hit the so-called rookie wall, providing a team-leading 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting, six rebounds and three assists. He also largely defended Golden State’s Stephen Curry, whose 19 points came on only 5-of-14 shooting.

“I don’t see how you get tired at 22 years old,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said before reflecting on his 14-year NBA career, including 11 with the Showtime Lakers. “I don’t see how you buy that crap anyway. I didn’t know ice was until I was 26 or 27.”

Yet, former Lakers forwards and Time Warner Cable SportsNet analysts James Worthy and Robert Horry believed fatigue and the so-called rookie wall led to Clarkson shooting a combined 32.2 percent clip in the previous three games.

“James is trying to be sympathetic to these young guys nowadays and is getting a little soft,” Scott said with a smile. “Gotta find something to talk about.”

Clarkson acknowledged that teams are loading up on screens and forcing him to speed up his tempo, which he believed led to his three turnovers. But as far as playing more games, more practices and more minutes than he ever experienced in college? Well, Clarkson found it absurd.

“I haven’t really thought about it with minutes or hitting a rookie wall,” Clarkson said. “Of course it’s a long season, but I’m still here and my motor is still going.”

Clarkson used that motor effectively against Golden State.

He attacked the lane aggressively to create both open runners and jump shots. Clarkson collaborated with the Lakers’ frontline in attacking the perimeter early both to deny open three-point shots and prevent Curry from running pick-and-roll. Through all those sequences, Clarkson appeared more vocal in both directing his teammates where to cut on offense and where to rotate on defense.

But first things first.

Clarkson narrowed back criticism toward himself. He called his game just “all right” because of his three turnovers. Clarkson also faulted himself for missing a layup as the Lakers trailed 104-101 with 32 seconds left.

“I got to be more vocal as a point guard, getting guys into places and continuing to talk to my teammates,” Clarkson said. “We’ve been around each other. We’re trying to play more with guys. The guys I’ve been on the floor with are different. But I’m trying to get everybody on the same page.”

All of which Clarkson believes will prevent him from ever hitting that rookie wall.

RELATED:

Lakers’ Jeremy Lin, Byron Scott at odds over his turnovers

Lakers’ Jeremy Lin, Byron Scott at odds over his turnovers

Lakers play Golden State tough but fall to Warriors

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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  • Kelly Clarkson

    Oks lang yan!

  • Adlaker12

    What a great bright spot for an otherwise lost season. Part of enjoying the NBA experience is watching these young guys develop. Since the Lakers reload more than they rebuild we don’t always get to see it in this form. Last time we saw it like this was with Kobe. I’m not calling Clarkson a Kobe. But watching his development is fun.

  • Normussestudillo

    Imagine if Clarkson was playing with real talented NBA players. There and then he can showcase what real talent he truly have. If he had any. Can’t wait for the real Lakers play next season to watch Clarkson what he can do. Playing with shooting guard like Kobe, would be too exciting to watch.

  • nlruizjr

    I guess James must have hit the rookie wall whenever the Lakers lost games, come on James, let’s get “clever” as BS calls you.

  • Joseph Apohen

    Jordan is getting more confident and is seeing the floor well. He is by far a much better pg than Lin who throws the ball away often. I can see him being the Lakers pg for the future. Scott should leave him in crunch time. However, management wants to keep the four draft picks that’s why Byron is playing Jeremy.

    • Rodney King

      You’re undoubtedly filipino.

      • Joseph Apohen

        You are right, but my comment has nothing to do with my ethnicity. It is with my intelligent observation that I can make that comment. With your name being King, you must be Chinese. When Lin was signed by the Lakers, I looked forward to see him help the Lakers as their pg:, however, with his performance I am disappointed that it did not come to fruition. Last night against the Jazz, in the waning moments, again he threw the ball away twice. He has the tendency not to see where the defense is before passing the ball. By the way Filipino is spelled with a CAPITAL F.