Luke Walton Believes Lakers Must Improve When Playing Small-Ball Lineups

Luke Walton Believes Lakers Must Improve When Playing Small-Ball Lineups

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Luke Walton
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Lakers put their roster together during the offseason, one of the advantages was believed to be the versatility. In particular, head coach Luke Walton’s team would conceivably be able to put together some very intriguing small-ball lineups.

The lack of a true backup center practically forced Walton’s hands with those lineups early on in the season, but the results weren’t too favorable. While things were generally fine on offense, the small lineups provided little to no resistance defensively.

The addition of Tyson Chandler has made the small-ball lineups more of an option instead of a necessity, but Walton still wants the Lakers to be prepared when that time comes.

“We feel like at some point we need to get good at going small,” Walton said. “You have to be able to have a lineup out there that can play where you switch everything when it’s that type of game.”

Walton also understands that he still needs to experiment and find out the best lineup. “Some of it has been trying to get some reps at that, figure out who that group is,” he said.

The Lakers have a slew options at their disposal when it comes to going small, so figuring out that right combination is crucial. Of course, LeBron James will be a part of it, but deciding between Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson is difficult.

Not to mention the point guard battle between Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo, when the veteran point guard is healthy and available.

Whatever the best lineup turns out to be, Walton must figure it out soon. While JaVale McGee and Chandler have been great, facing off with the likes of the Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics will require that small-ball lineup and that group needs to be ready.