Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton and his coaching staff put in their first couple of offensive sets during Wednesday’s training camp, but it wasn’t until after plenty of defensive drills and fundamentals. Walton was very impressed with how the group came out to practice today, especially with their understanding and acceptance of continuing to harp on defensive drills, before getting to the fun stuff – scrimmaging.
Walton stressed that he’s really trying to create a “brotherhood type environment,” where all of his players feel empowered. Rather than there being one leader of this team, Walton embraces the idea of several players leading, all in different ways.
“I want to empower all of our players, honestly. To me, when players take over and they take ownership of the team, they play harder, they hold each other accountable because it’s their team,” Walton said after day two of training camp. “You always have more pride in something, if you feel like you have a bigger role in it, so the more ownership our players want to take and the more power they want to have, as long as we’re doing things the right way, I’m going to encourage all of our players to do that.”
Regarding D’Angelo Russell and the leadership he’s showing, Walton said the young guard has been showing those skills all summer.
“He’s been great. He’s been professional, vocal, he’s doing everything, we’re asking. He’s making plays. He’s been very professional so far in this short training camp we’ve had, but even in the summer coming in each day he’s been good with that.”
Walton also singled out Julius Randle for his effort and Jordan Clarkson for his aggressiveness in defensive drills. Walton has made a big point about challenging Clarkson defensively and showed Clarkson film this morning about defensive mistakes in yesterday’s practice, which the third-year guard appreciates.
“He’s just been on me,” Clarkson said about Walton. “Kind of building confidence in myself, teaching me and staying on me really about everything defensively.”
The work is paying off. Walton said Clarkson has been one of the best in all of their defensive drills, standing out with his aggressiveness and focus on the little details, like fighting over screens.
We’ve got tons of footage from today’s practice, so check it out below. From shootaround footage to drills with the bigs to interviews with Jose Calderon and Ivica Zubac.
Day 2 Report: D’Angelo Russell Stepping Up
Three-Point Shootaround Footage
Drill With The Bigs