One of the biggest criticisms for Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton has been his rotations, which have been inconsistent throughout the season. In fairness to Walton, constant injuries have made it near impossible to settle on any sort of rotation.
Coming down the final stretch of the season, and with the playoffs hanging in the balance, many teams begin to tighten up their rotations and stick with main guys, and Walton is no different.
“We’re going to shorten down the rotation a little bit, but we’re going to keep giving guys chances out to there to see if someone is having a night,” Walton noted after the Lakers’ loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. “That’ll change game-to-game. Hopefully we’ll get ‘Zo back at some point and he’ll be another piece to help us. But we’re shortening down the rotation for now.”
Only nine Lakers saw the floor in the Bucks game, with Lance Stephenson sitting out due to a sprained toe, in addition Lonzo Ball’s ongoing recovery. LeBron James, Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo all played at least 39 minutes, while Kyle Kuzma was on the court for 34.
Ball’s return will undoubtedly help the Lakers, but will also present some interesting decisions for Walton to make, particularly in regards to the Lakers’ wings. Reggie Bullock seems to be a lock to remain a big part of the rotation, but Stephenson, Josh Hart and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could be some of those players who Walton will switch between on a game-to-game basis.
The same can likely be said in regards to the Lakers’ traditional bigs. JaVale McGee, Tyson Chandler and Mike Muscala all bring something different to the table, and Walton has even gone to rookie Moe Wagner at times.
Walton will have some tough choices to make, especially once Ball returns so it will be very interesting to see where he turns in different situations.
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