The Los Angeles Lakers will have a bit of a different look for their second preseason game as head coach Luke Walton announced Josh Hart will start at shooting guard Tuesday night. Although Walton is shuffling his deck, it’s not an indictment on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
“Just get a couple different looks. We’re looking for the same things,” explained Walton at shootaround.
“I talked to KCP, everything he’s done all training camp is perfect and exactly what we asked him to do. He’s running, playing defense, shooting when he’s open. So, keep doing that. Just keep doing it with the second group.”
Heading into training camp, Walton made it clear he would experiment with several lineups. Within that were multiple variations of a small-ball group, with either Michael Beasley or Kyle Kuzma at center.
There is also the factor of the Lakers working to develop chemistry, given how many players are new to the roster. “No matter who we end up starting, they’re going to be playing with different groups throughout the game,” Walton reiterated.
“It can’t just be one group and another group for now. We’ve got to keep getting guys comfortable with playing with each other.”
Caldwell-Pope missed all five of his shot attempts in the preseason opener, including four attempts behind the arc. His two points came at the free thrown line, and Caldwell-Pope added two rebounds, two assists and one steal in 21 minutes of action.
Hart, who was named Las Vegas Summer League MVP, scored 7 points on 2-of-5 shooting, and 1-for-2 from three-point territory. He also collected two rebounds, two blocked shots and one steal in 24 minutes.