The Los Angeles Lakers expect Jordan Clarkson to return to the starting lineup after missing two games with an ankle injury, shifting D'Angelo Russell back to playing off the bench, Lakers head coach Byron Scott told media following practice on Monday. Russell filled in for Clarkson as he nursed a mild sprain, averaging 18 points, five assists, three rebounds and 2.5 steals while shooting 38.9 percent from deep in his brief run with the starters since being moved to the bench.
Scott initially stated his intention to play Russell along with Julius Randle off the bench over a 5-to-10 game span, shaking up the rotation following a slow start to the season. Clarkson's injury put that on hold, but Randle's struggled the most as he plays with a bench unit lacking a dynamic threat with him. Byron had praise for D'Angelo's strong play over the previous three games, but is returning to his initial plan of using him as the leader of the bench unit.
It's good that Jordan will be back after what appears to be a very minor setback. He's enjoyed a great follow-up sophomore season, showing impressive growth as a three-point threat. The Lakers need all of the talent they can muster right now, and Clarkson's been one of their best players through 24 games.
The Lakers are home in Los Angeles after closing out their longest road trip of the season (8 games). They face the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night, with the Houston Rockets coming to town Thursday as the teams face off for the second time in three games.