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Earl Clark's three-point range a surprise

January 31, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Earl Clark has emerged as a suitable starter for the Lakers, averaging 10.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in 10 starts this season.
Earl Clark has emerged as a suitable starter for the Lakers, averaging 10.1… (Frederic J. Brown / Getty…)

As Coach Mike D'Antoni and Pau Gasol snipe back and forth about starting, finishing and role, Earl Clark has emerged as a productive starter for the Lakers.

In 10 starts for the Lakers, Clark is averaging 10.1 points and 8.6 rebounds while shooting 57.8% from three-point range.

It's his outside shooting that has impressed the most. On the season, he's hit 12 of 22 (54.5%) from behind the arc. That's quite a jump given that Clark didn't hit a single three-pointer in either of the last two seasons.

Before coming to the Lakers, Clark shot 2-for-15 (13.3%) over three seasons in the NBA.

D'Antoni likes Clark's athleticism, speed and ability to defend multiple positions. Any offense is a bonus, but the way Clark has stretched the floor recently, he's filling a needed role alongside Dwight Howard.

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.

It's just unexpected.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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