With the regular season just around the corner, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton still has a decision to make in regards to his starting lineup.
Lonzo Ball, if his ankle is healthy, Brandon Ingram, Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, once his two-game suspension ends, are all locks to start but who will start at power forward is still up in the air.
The candidates are Julius Randle, who started all but one of the games he played last season, Larry Nance Jr. and rookie Kyle Kuzma.
Walton recently gave Kuzma a slim 10 percent chance of starting, so that leaves Randle and Nance as the remaining candidates.
Nance started the team’s last three preseason games alongside Lopez in the frontcourt, and Lopez was pleased with what he saw, saying they would make a good pairing, via Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com:
“I think we definitely contrast each other very well,” Lopez said. “A lot of the differences that make us good individual players make us an even better tandem.”
With Randle not starting a game this preseason alongside Lopez and playing well off the bench, Nance has to be considered the favorite to start.
Nance has not played his best basketball this preseason though, as Walton recently said he has to do a better job of controlling his emotions
While Randle may have outplayed Nance this preseason on the stat sheet, Nance’s impact goes way beyond that as he seems to do all the little things. That may play into his favor as with a starting lineup that features Lopez, Ingram and Ball not much will be asked of Nance in the scoring department.
Regardless of who starts, Nance, Randle and Kuzma will all get a lot of minutes this season and will play a big factor in the team’s possible success.