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Luke Walton says the Lakers miss Nick Young and Julius Randle’s energy

Los Angeles looked lethargic, and their head coach thinks he knows why.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Golden State Warriors for the second time in three days, Luke Walton could only describe the game one way.

"It looked like a Thanksgiving food hangover,” Walton said of the game, and it sounded like he might have a theory on why.

"Nick and Julius bring more energy to the team than anyone else that we have,” Walton said of two of the team’s missing starters after Nick Young and Julius Randle both sat out of the team’s 109-85 loss, and it’s pretty easy to see what he means.

Randle and Young have not only been two of the Lakers best players this year, but they have also both brought a unique vibe to the team. Young’s boundless enthusiasm and ever-present smile have to be a boon for the locker room and in huddles, while Randle’s constant “eff you” vibe towards their opponents is probably missed as well, as are his fearless and physical drives to the rim.

There is currently no timetable for either to return, although the team announced MRIs on Young had come back negative for a break in his ailing toe and Walton expressed hope Randle could be back on Sunday.

Until the two are back in the lineup, the Lakers will continue to miss not only their production on the court, but their contributions to the team’s chemistry and energy as well.

All quotes transcribed via Spectrum Sportsnet. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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