The Los Angeles Lakers had a much better showing on Wednesday night than they did Sunday. Unfortunately for Luke Walton’s squad the result was the same as they came up short, 105-98 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
With D’Angelo Russell still out, Walton went with veteran Jose Calderon in the starting lineup, but once again the starters failed to make an impact. Aside from Nick Young’s 15 points, Julius Randle and Luol Deng combined for only 12 points while Calderon and Timofey Mozgov each went scoreless.
This has once again brought up questions about the starting lineup and whether changes are in order. According to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters, Walton admitted that it is something the coaching staff is discussing, though he stopped short of saying changes were imminent:
Luke on shaking up starting lineup: “def something we’re talking about & maybe we’ll get there soon, we’ll have more discussions.” (on SPSN)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 26, 2017
With how bad things have gotten for the Lakers it would certainly make sense for Walton to shake things up. Of course the first step is for everyone to get healthy as Russell is sorely missed as evidenced by the Lakers totaling 27 assists over the past two games.
The obvious moves would seem to be getting more minutes to the younger players. Ivica Zubac has played very well recently and Walton has already spoken about him getting more minutes. Brandon Ingram has also arguably outplayed Deng so far this season so those two being inserted into the starting lineup could be possible.
Trying out Jordan Clarkson next to Russell could also make some sense or perhaps Larry Nance Jr. could find himself in the first unit as he gets healthier after recently returning from injury.
Walton has plenty of options at his disposal if and when he chooses to make a change to the starting lineup, but with things falling off the rails for the Lakers, that change may need to come sooner rather than later.