The Los Angeles Lakers' starting lineup is in, and it will include No. 2 pick D'Angelo Russell, Lakers head coach Byron Scott announced during shootaround. Scott was non-committal about the final slot in the lineup leading up to opening day, leaving things in the air as he evaluated his roster.
"I just think he's ready. He wants that spotlight," Scott told media of his final decision. Russell's readiness could also be due to the fact that most of his training camp reps and preseason minutes were with the starting unit, becoming a role he was more comfortable with.
Marcelo Huertas' fit as a leader of the second unit is also a key here. He was limited through preseason because of a hamstring injury, only played in the final two exhibition games, and Scott didn't feel he would be ready to handle that minutes load yet. Huertas did a good job of running the offense in his limited time, though, showing why having him behind Russell in the rotation can help stabilize the bench and roster as a whole.
Kobe Bryant is officially set to start as well after taking time off during preseason to nurse a bruised calf. The starting lineup will be D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Kobe Bryant, Julius Randle and Roy Hibbert.
Here's more of what Scott had to say via the (as always) great coverage from local media:
Byron had trouble sleeping today. He woke up at 4:30 am and then took a yoga session at 6:30 am— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 28, 2015
Byron said Jordan Clarkson will be handling more of the ball tonight, though https://t.co/QRdeo4LPFZ— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) October 28, 2015
Byron said he had also considered Huertas starting or feature Kobe/Clarkson in backcourt w/ A. Brown at SF— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 28, 2015