With all the yammering about Earl Clark starting over Pau Gasol for the L.A. Lakers, there's something that should be acknowledged: The boy's been ballin'. Since playing major minutes for the Lake Show in early January, Clark has had six double-double's and come up a rebound shy of a one twice. Not saying he's good enough to be the first option anywhere or that his numbers aren't a tad inflated because of D'Antoni's system. But you can't hate on a dude who's working hard to fit his new role, getting better before our eyes and who's obviously earning the trust of his teammates if he and Kobe can now make plays like this.

Playing in the Kobe 8 System, the young Laker is learning from the best and performing in selections from the best's collection. The Kobe 8 System is good shoe for Clark, who's now out on the perimeter a ton and has to make cuts and breaks to basket (like we just saw), hit threes and still have a shoe with strong outer material that can handle him banging for the 9.9 rebounds he's averaged for the past 13 games. The Lunarlon cushioning is lightweight enough for Clark to get of the ground, but strong enough to handle his impact. And the Engineered Mesh upper is strong enough to handle the bumps, but stay firm in the paint.

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