The Utah Jazz continue to roll this season as they currently hold a 23-5 record for the top spot in the stacked Western Conference. Most of their key players have all been spectacular but the emergence of sixth man Jordan Clarkson is turning out to be an integral part of their newfound success.
He is virtually a lock to garner this season’s Sixth Man of the Year award if he continues to perform at this pace the rest of the way for the Jazz. Clarkson has always settled in his role and is known to do whatever his team needs from him in order to win.
The Missouri product has already displayed his ability to co-exist with different types of players in recent seasons. He played alongside the late Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers where he stayed from 2014 to 2018.
Jordan Clarkson ran with another future Hall of Famer in LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2017 to 2020 which also included a stint in the 2018 NBA Finals. Most recently, he is making noise as a key member of a stacked Jazz squad headlined by Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Bojan Bogdanovic, among others.
He is currently averaging career-best numbers of 18.2 points on 46.2% shooting from the field and 4.1 rebounds along with 2.1 assists in 28 appearances off the bench. Monday night’s highly-anticipated game against the Philadelphia 76ers just made a stronger case for Clarkson’s candidacy this season.
The 28-year-old swingman went toe-to-toe with Sixers star Ben Simmons and exploded for 40 points on 8-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc in 29 minutes of action. More importantly, his huge scoring production lifted his squad to make a statement win over a top team like the Sixers which ended in a 134-123 victory for the Jazz.
Upon assessing the rest of the field, there are other worthy candidates for the Sixth Man of the Year award as well but none seems to be better than Jordan Clarkson, thus far. Houston Rockets’ Eric Gordon is also jockeying for position with averages of 18.8 points on 46.5% field goal shooting along with 2.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists. However, he has been rotating in and out of the starting lineup. He has already started nine games and only made 21 appearances off the bench.
Another player who is in contention is Terrence Ross from the Orlando Magic. He is tallying 14.8 points on 40.4% field goal shooting along with 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 27 games. Meanwhile, Toronto Raptors’ Chris Boucher is currently recording averages of 13.6 points on 52.9% shooting from the field along with 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 27 games.
76ers point guard Shake Milton, Los Angeles Lakers big man Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams, and New York Knicks playmaker Derrick Rose are all making a case for themselves as well.
There are still a lot of games left to be played that will allow the other players to best their counterparts in the race for the award as the season progresses. However, it seems like Jordan Clarkson is already leading the pack and will most likely make a successful run for it until the end of the 2020-21 season, given how good the Utah Jazz have been playing as of late.