With the Los Angeles Lakers struggling mightily recently, going only 5-21 after their 10-10 start, many have wondered if Luke Walton needs to make some changes to the team’s rotation.
Walton has already spoken about not being ready to change the starting lineup just yet, but others have wondered if Walton should begin shortening his rotation as opposed to playing five or more guys off the bench every game.
Apparently that won’t be the case either as Walton doesn’t want to shorten the bench’s minutes either since they have played so well this year according to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News:
“It’s probably not going to change because our bench has been so good for us all year,” Walton said. “We’re not going to shorten the bench’s minutes to get the starters get back in sooner. The bench most nights is posting big numbers for us.”
This has come into question recently as D’Angelo Russell has struggled to get fourth quarter minutes. When Lou Williams and/or Jordan Clarkson get hot, Walton tends to leave Russell on the bench for an extended period, even if Russell has been playing well beforehand.
At this time Walton remains committed to utilizing his bench and it has been responsible for many of the Lakers’ wins this season. As a matter of fact, with Larry Nance Jr. set to return from injury soon, Walton may have too many options at his disposal.
Both Russell and Julius Randle have really struggled recently and inconsistency has plagued the Lakers throughout the season. Walton has a tough task in managing his young players as he wants them to get minutes and learn from their mistakes, but doesn’t want to reward them if their effort isn’t up to par.
Cutting the bench minutes simply for the sake of getting the starters more minutes isn’t the answer as far as Walton is concerned. One of the main reasons for the Lakers’ hot start was their depth and Walton believes that will ultimately help them turn things back around.