VIDEO: Gasol, Bulls fall short in Orlando
By Ben Leibowitz, Special to NBA.com
With slightly more than a month left in the NBA regular season, players league-wide are grinding toward the finish line. Some players continue to play at a high level, while others (understandably) slump to varying degrees.
It was a rough shooting week for a pair of 23-year-old, second-year players as well as for a trusted veteran, too.
PointAfter will break down the coldest shooters of the week with help from interactive data visualizations.
Note: Statistics in this article cover games between Feb. 26 through March 3.
Guard: Jordan Clarkson, Los Angeles Lakers
Rookie teammate D’Angelo Russell caught fire this week, scored a career-high 39 points against the Brooklyn Nets and cited the ice in his veins, but Jordan Clarkson didn’t experience the same good fortune. In fact, the former second-round pick didn’t shoot over 40 percent in any game during this week.
Outside of the restricted area, Clarkson simply could not get his shot to fall. As a matter of fact, he finished the week’s three games at 0 percent shooting from mid-range near the elbows.
Coupled with that ghastly mid-range shooting was a lack of touch from beyond the arc — where Clarkson went just 4-of-20 (20 percent). His 0-of-7 effort from long range against the Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 26 set the tone for his lackluster week of shooting.
Wing: Rodney Hood, Utah Jazz
For the most part, Rodney Hood’s sophomore season has been a promising one for him and Utah Jazz fans. He has started 58 games while buffing his averages in points, rebounds and assists.
But he had a week to forget when transitioning from February into March.
While playing an average of 36 minutes in the week’s first two games against Brooklyn and Boston, Hood finished 9-of-32 shooting (28.1 percent). He was just 3-of-14 from beyond the arc over that span. He played only 13 minutes in the March 2 loss against the Toronto Raptors after suffering a head injury.
Hood was not listed on the Jazz injury report, so he isn’t expected to miss time.
Forward/Center: Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls
Perhaps it’s no surprise the floundering Bulls have a representative among the worst shooters after going 0-4 during the week. Chicago is 3-7 over its last 10 games and has fallen out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Pau Gasol has tried his best to help the cause — even posting a gaudy 22-point, 16-rebound, 14-assist triple-double on Feb. 27 — but his performance the previous day doomed his shooting for the week. In that affair (a 15-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks), the 35-year-old finished 6-of-22 from the field.
Gasol still impacted games through his rebounding and rim protection, but the Bulls simply aren’t playing sound team basketball right now. If they don’t turn things around soon, there’s a real chance they won’t even make the playoffs — which would have sounded absurd at the beginning of the season.
This article was originally published on PointAfter, a partner of NBA.com.
Ben Leibowitz is a writer for PointAfter, a sports data aggregation and visualization website that’s part of the Graphiq network. Visit PointAfter to get all the information about NBA Players, NBA Historical Teams and dozens of other topics.