Head coach Luke Walton decided to mix things up once again on Monday by making another change to the starting lineup. This time Walton went with Jordan Clarkson as his starting point guard and had D’Angelo Russell come off the bench.
Clarkson, who has become quite accustomed to changes to his role on this team, claims to keep the same mindset regardless of how Walton uses him night in and night out, via Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
“I don’t know if it was a vote of confidence. I’m just out there playing with new guys around. I’m going to go out there and compete every time I step out,” Clarkson said. “It’s all the same to me if I come off the bench or I start. I got the same mindset always.”
The third-year guard out of Missouri was coming off arguably his best game as a Laker. Clarkson scored a career-high 30 points while dishing out eight assists in the loss to the Philadelphia 76ers which may have prompted Walton to make a move on Monday against the Denver Nuggets.
Although Clarkson excelled against the Suns with a career night, the 24-year-old was unable to have a repeat performance in Denver. Clarkson finished with 19 points on 7-18 shooting in his new role as the Lakers fell to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center, 129-101.
Russell also had an off night coming off the bench. D’Angelo had a very poor shooting night going 4-14 from the floor finishing with 10 points.
Walton may continue the trend of shaking things up with the team continuing their road trip to face the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. The Lakers backcourt will be in for a tough test against MVP candidate James Harden along with the sharp-shooting Eric Gordon and former teammate, Lou Williams.