Both Larry Nance, Jr. and Julius Randle are among the Los Angeles Lakers' several young players deserving of playing time, with the former recently taking the latter's spot in the starting lineup in order to get more minutes. Both forwards have played well over their last four games, with Nance, Jr. on the best tear of his young career over that period, averaging 10.8 points and 9.5 rebounds on 70% shooting in 23.4 minutes per game. Randle has bounced back from a couple of bad games to average 12.5 points and 10 rebounds on 45.2% shooting in 23.1 minutes in his last four contests.
"Me and Julius are a power forward by committee," Nance, Jr. told Shahan Ahmed of NBC Los Angeles after the Lakers' victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. "We both almost had double-doubles tonight." Both players play primarily that power forward position however, leaving only about 48 minutes per game available for the two to split. Unless one of them changes positions that is, something Lakers head coach Byron Scott is reportedly considering:
Byron also considering Randle at 4,, Nance Jr at 3, Kobe at 2 and Russell at 1 to start. But no changes tonight— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 4, 2016
Scott considering playing Nance Jr at 3 and Randle at 4. Maybe Nance Jr at 4 and Randle at 5. But Scott leaning toward 3 and 4 option— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 4, 2016
Randle and Nance, Jr. together is an interesting idea, but more so with Nance, Jr at center and Randle and power forward. Despite both players recently shooting better recently (Randle has made all of his threes over the last 4 games and Nance, Jr. has shot 76.9% outside of the paint over that same period), but neither player is likely to be able space the floor well enough from the three spot for that lineup to work offensively, much less defend opposing small forwards on the other end.
Scott did tell reporters he was unlikely to make any lineup changes if the Lakers continue their winning streak, so file this potential adjustment away as something to watch for over the next few weeks.
All stats per NBA.com