Even though Luke Walton has yet to come down to join the Los Angeles Lakers due to the ongoing championship quest of the Golden State Warriors, that hasn’t stopped the excitement from the Lakers’ young players.
Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr. have all spoken about what Walton can bring to this team. There is an air of optimism surrounding the Lakers that hasn’t been there the last couple of years.
One significant change Walton will be making is bringing in a new offensive system. In an interview with Shahan Ahmed of NBC LA, Clarkson spoke about what he is expecting in that new offense:
“With the Warriors, the biggest thing is ball movement,” Clarkson says. “Those guys are making the ball pop. Everyone is getting open shots, setting good screens. They set a lot of guard to guard screens, take advantage of switches.”
Clarkson went on to add why he thinks this style of play will be perfect for the young Lakers:
“That style of play, I think it fits us well,” Clarkson says about the Warriors’ style. “We got a lot of guys that can put the ball on the floor and make plays for each other, and at the same time being able to play in a system where ball movement is the emphasis.”
He added, “Getting up and down is going to be a cool experience.”
Walton has a lot of work to do in turning around this Lakers offense. The team ranked dead last in points per game, field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and assists. The Lakers also ranked 18th in pace despite having a number of young players who can get up and down the court.
Focusing more on ball and player movement would ideally get the Lakers more open shots than last year as they tended to operate in isolation more often than not. Things surely won’t be easy for Walton, but if he can get Clarkson, Russell, Randle, and Nance to play more for each other than as individuals, that would be a great start.