Through seven games in the preseason, the Los Angeles Lakers don’t have the greatest record, sitting at 2-5. There have been positives and negatives for Luke Walton’s squad throughout these games, but one consistent struggle has been the starters’ ability to get the team off to a good start.
The Lakers have fallen behind pretty quickly in the majority of games so far despite the team employing a few different lineups. The constants have been D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Timofey Mozgov, but Luol Deng, Metta World Peace, Nick Young, Lou Williams, and Jordan Clarkson have all started at a wing position at least once this preseason.
After another slow start in the Lakers’ 123-112 loss to the Golden State Warriors, Walton spoke about the first unit and said that they’ve got to figure something out according to Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation:
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) October 20, 2016
The Lakers have a collection of talent, but finding the right combination of players is key for Luke Walton and the rest of his staff. The bench combination of Tarik Black, Larry Nance Jr., Brandon Ingram, and Clarkson has shown great potential as a group, but they have had to save the Lakers at times (when Clarkson hasn’t started).
If Walton would prefer to keep that group coming off the bench together, one option could be starting Nick Young at the two-guard spot as he has been one of the best players for the Lakers this preseason. That could give the starters a boost while keeping an effective bench unit together. If forced to break up that bench unit, perhaps inserting Nance or Ingram with the starters could get the desired result Walton is looking for.
The solution to the Lakers’ starters issue is unknown, but Walton will have to figure it out soon with only one more preseason game left before the regular season begins.