No exhibition games and for some teams no action at all for 10 months has made for a sloppy start to the NHL season. It’s plenty entertaining with all the odd-man rushes and goals, even if the hockey resembles junior or college games more than the pros. Teams have shuffled their lineups more early because of injuries and protocols. That has led to less continuity and more mistakes and penalties all over the ice. But goaltenders have also stepped up and shaken off the rust quicker to keep from every game being an offensive explosion.
LOS ANGELES >> Their qualities mirrored each other as they paired together.Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson could score in bunches. They looked to attack the basket. They never fretted over missed shots.As much as the two often said their qualities complemented each other, Williams benefitted from the pairing more than Clarkson. While Williams took more of the shots with efficiency, Clarkson forced plenty of his with mixed results. But with the Lakers trading Williams last week to the Houston Rockets for small forward Corey Brewer and a first-round pick, Clarkson appears more empowered. “With Lou gone, a lot of stuff is going to be run through me,” Clarkson said. “Just trying to make plays for my teammates. At the same time, scoring the ball when I have a chance.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThrough the small sample size, Lakers coach Luke Walton said Clarkson has done “a good job” in adapting to his bigger role. Clarkson entered Tuesday’s game against Charlotte at Staples Center averaging more points (16.5) than his season average (13.9) in two games since Williams’ departure. Clarkson’s assist numbers have also gone up from 2.1 to 3.5.“Jordan has done a nice job of being aggressive to score and also trusting his teammates,” Walton said. “He knows the coaching staff wants to see him be a playmaker.”Walton has often talked with Clarkson about that responsibility, including showing film of the last 10 games of his rookie season when he averaged 19.9 points on 49 percent shooting and seven assists. Yet, Walton contended Clarkson often tried to blend his scoring and passing without accounting for defensive coverages. “I just try not to force stuff, knowing the ball is going to come back,” Clarkson said. “I’m trying to look for my teammates, trying to make plays and when the shots come, just take them.”Dream come trueAs he sat on the Lakers’ bench during pre-game warmups, newly signed guard David Nwaba received advice from Walton that had nothing to do with X’s and O’s. Instead, Walton addressed Nwaba’s life-long dream to play for the Lakers after idolizing Kobe Bryant and starring at Los Angeles University High and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.“I told him to really enjoy it and embrace it.,” said Walton, who played for the Lakers from 2003 to 2012. Once it’s all outside of your mind, it’s about playing basketball, competing and doing well.”The Lakers signed the undrafted guard to a 10-day contract after averaging 13.9 points on 64.5 percent shooting and seven rebounds in 29 minutes in 38 games with their Development League affiliate, the D-Fenders.“I was shocked and very happy,” Nwaba said. “It’s pretty crazy growing up a Lakers fan and dreaming about this day and it’s finally happening. It’s a great feeling.”The Lakers signed Nwaba both for evaluation purposes and to improve their defense after ranking nearly last in the NBA in several statistical categories.“As we continue to try to be a more defensive oriented team as far as growth, I think it’s important we get defensive minded people,” Walton said. “He’s the type of the guy that can help us build an identity where we want to play defense.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Jamie Carragher believes Manchester United would be much better off backing Jose Mourinho than Paul Pogba.The pair’s relationship seems to have broken down, with a training ground confrontation capturing their souring relationship.And in a brutal assessment of the midfielder, Carragher said: “If Mourinho goes you won’t see a new Pogba,’ he told Sky Sports. Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade 3 “He’s not as a good as he thinks he is. His big problem is his understanding of the game. You can sum up his performances in his last two games – a great goal vs Young Boys but he was at fault for Wolves’ goal.“He would have the big clubs going in for him but Barcelona would be the biggest ill fit for him. Pogba plays for himself. He’s not really a captain. He’s let his agent speak ill of the club. He’s not the man.It has been revealed the training ground stand off comes from an Instagram post the 25-year-old uploaded while watching Man United lose to Derby from the stands. Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho’s relationship appears to be irreparable Pogba watched Man United’s game against Derby from the stands ADVICE Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions REVEALED Most popular football news Defending the manager, Carragher said: “Mourinho never took the captaincy off [John] Terry. I think Jose has problems come the end of the season.“I would stick with Mourinho before Pogba. But It’s easier to take a manager out of the situation than a player.“I’m sick of people making excuses for players – get the best out of yourself. Being a captain and playing central midfield, like [Roy] Keane and [Paul] Scholes, is playing for the team.“I don’t think he’s disciplined to play in Mourinho’s midfield.” REVEALED silverware Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack Alan Brazil, the talkSPORT Breakfast host, though, described Pogba as ‘poison’. Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Speaking on talkSPORT, however, Adrian Durham feels Mourinho’s actions on the training ground were ‘distasteful’, claiming he was trying to rob Derby, where Frank Lampard, one of his legendary former players is manager, of the headlines.“He didn’t have to do this, he knew it would be filmed, he knew it would go viral. He didn’t have to do that at all.” impact no dice England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won huge blow Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? 3 “Jose has robbed #DCFC of the day of glory they deserved” 🍾@talkSPORTDrive says Mourinho knew what he was doing in the incident with Pogba 🔴📻 Tune in → https://t.co/nOCybh8ExD pic.twitter.com/QnD7CSLmOK— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 26, 2018 Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move RANKED BEST OF Former Liverpool defender-turned-Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher says Pogba only plays for himself Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won MONEY 3 “If Fergie was still manager now, Pogba would not be there – not a hope in hell,” he said on Wednesday’s Sports Breakfast show.“Fergie would not trust someone with that reputation, even if he is a World Cup winner, he just wouldn’t.“I think Jose has been patient, but I think his patience has run out now.“I think he realises this man is a bad egg. A great player and a World Cup winner, but poison.”