The Los Angeles Lakers were extremely shorthanded against the Utah Jazz on Sunday night and they just could not overcome the injuries. Los Angeles had a very slow start to the game and the team finished with just 30 points in the first half. The offensive struggles continued throughout the game and the Lakers eventually lost by 12, 86-74.
With the absence of many players, the Lakers coaching staff had to adjust the rotation and include some they have not used very often. Julius Randle has been coming off the bench for quite some time now and he is backing up rookie Larry Nance Jr. in the starting lineup.
However, on Sunday night, Nance Jr. and Randle played alongside each other and the rookie loved their tandem, via Shahan Ahmed of NBC Los Angeles:
Larry Nance jr. has been consistently in favor of playing alongside Julius Randle. Said he "Loved it" tonight.
— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) January 11, 2016
Randle finished the game with 11 points and seven rebounds in his 26 minutes of play, while Nance Jr. had ten points and 11 rebounds as a starter with a shade under 37 minutes on the court. The two young players bring unique skill sets to the table and they can present many problems for opposing defenses.
Nance Jr. has stated before that he would like to have more playing time Randle and it is something the coaching staff should look into. In today’s NBA, small ball is becoming commonplace and the Lakers can do some serious damage if Randle and Nance Jr. are both on the court at the same time.
The Lakers will host the New Orleans Pelicans in their next game which will come Tuesday night at Staples Center. The Pelicans have been a disappointment this season, especially with all the progress they made as team last year. Nevertheless, they still have one of the best players in the NBA in Anthony Davis and the Lakers will have their hands full in covering him.