The Lakers training camp has come to a close and the young and new LA team (and the rest of the world) will finally get to experience its first attempt at on-court action after the Kobe retirement tour last season.
Based on what coach Luke Walton has to say about the Lakers, it does seem that purple is ready to make its long journey back to gold.
“Very happy with what we got done, how hard the players competed, the way they’re picking up the information we’re giving them,” Walton shared with ESPN. “Very successful week, in my opinion.”
Even point guard D’Angelo Russell concurred his coach’s remarks saying “I feel like we took major steps forward — more steps forward than backward. That’s a successful camp.”
Camp has definitely been much different from a similarly different Lakers team this season with Walton focusing on improving their defense more than anything else. After giving up a league-worst 109.3 points per 100 possessions last season, defense was definitely something that the squad could improve.
But now that Walton’s plans seem to be falling in place, who will be the starting squad entrusted to implement this?
Luke Walton still undecided on Lakers starting five
According to reports, by Mark Medina of LA Daily News, “Walton hasn’t decided on the Lakers’ starting lineup ahead of the preseason opener.”
Though it is expected that the first five will be composed of D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Luol Deng, Julius Randle, and Timofey Mozgov, there is still no hundred percent guarantee that this will be the case.
Clarkson and Russell on the backcourt could be the most realistic scenario right now, with (what could be) improved defense under Walton’s tutelage. The LA Lakers coach is probably in a conundrum with Mozgov’s ability to protect the rim, since the Roy Hibbert experiment failed last season. But given the choices for center, he will probably be the starting center for LA.
Though Ingram has shown much promise, Walton will probably pick experience over talent (for now) and put in Deng. The power forward position, meanwhile could really be a toss-coin between Randle and Larry Nance Jr., who showed much improvement over summer.
Just as well, it will entirely be up to coach Luke Walton, and at the very least we will get to see a preview of his lineup Tuesday evening, when the LA Lakers take on the Sacramento Kings.
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