The Los Angeles Lakers opened up their season with a dud Thursday night, falling to the Los Angeles Clippers 108-92 at Staples Center.
Thursday night was just a case of everyone on the team having a bad night at the same time, whether it was nerves or rust that played into it.
One Laker who did not play as good as he’s accustomed to is Julius Randle, who came off the bench after starting 73 of the 74 games he played last season.
Part of the reason could have been that he was frustrated about coming off the bench, according to his head coach Luke Walton, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Luke Walton got the sense that Julius Randle was a bit frustrated about not starting & didn't feel like he was 100% ready to go tonight
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 20, 2017
Randle scored nine points to go along with six rebounds, an assist and a block on 4-of-8 shooting in 18 minutes. With Larry Nance Jr. getting the start in the frontcourt alongside Brook Lopez, it gave Randle a chance to go up against the Clippers backup big men. That was the main reason he came off the bench in the first place, as Walton thought he would dominate against second string big men.
That obviously didn’t happen, but it was just one game so Randle will get another opportunity tomorrow night when the Lakers travel to take on the Phoenix Suns.
Despite the lackluster performance in the season opener, the Lakers could still have one of the best benches in the league this year with Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Kyle Kuzma and veteran center Andrew Bogut.