clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Podcast: Luke Walton should give the Lakers starting five more time before considering a change

Because of roster construction, Luke Walton and the Lakers are going to have to try some weird things to get all their best players minutes.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

If you’ve somehow been able to go more than a couple days between the times you’ve heard someone say “it’s going to take time” regarding the Lakers, you either haven’t been paying full attention or, well, yeah that’s about it.

Thing is: That’s really the only big-picture analysis you can offer up with any kind of certainty. The Lakers were always going to start slow. There were just too many moving parts to figure things out right when this season kicked off. And yet, here we are, after a slow start, frustrated.

It’s going to take time.

Maybe the Lakers wind up running out of said time, but there are aspects of the things they’re trying that they’re going to have to stick with, or risk falling into poor process habits.

One example of such a decision they’d be remiss to move off of right away: The starting lineup Luke Walton tried Monday night in Minnesota. Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, LeBron James and JaVale McGee is the kind of group you give a shot because you need to find ways to get the players in that group together as often as possible.

One game is simply not enough sample size to figure out what they’re capable of together, especially given the foul trouble Ingram fell into. I’d be somewhat disappointed, therefore, if Walton goes away from that unit after just the one start. It’d be indicative of some of the other criticism lobbed his way after trotting out 24 five-man lineup combinations in a 48-minute game.

While we’re on the subject of all those lineups, given the way the Lakers want to play (free-wheeling with tons of player and ball movement), guys need to spend more than a couple minutes on the court together at a time. If Walton employed a more rudimentary system, then maybe you can jumble groups that much (I still wouldn’t advise that, by the way). But give how the Lakers want to play, he needs to hurry up and find combinations that work and stick with them.

At some point, you have to find some kind of consistency, and adjusting the starting lineup or rotational minutes on a nightly basis is no way to do that.

As always, this is just a tidbit of the full context given in the show. Listen to the full discussion below and please check out old episodes, or guarantee you won’t miss any ever again by subscribing to either “The Silver Screen and Roll Podcast” or “Locked on Lakers” on iTunes.