Over the last few weeks, while the Los Angeles Lakers won ugly games in spite of uninspiring play from their starting lineup, the excuse for not making a change was that they were winning. Now that their poor play has resulted in a couple losses, Luke Walton no longer has that excuse. It’s time for him to, you know, do his job.
To be clear, I understand why Walton tried to get Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma opportunities to hold spots among the starters. They’re both young, proud players hoping to prove themselves in this season-long audition to remain a part of the LeBron James Lakers. It just hasn’t worked out — especially given how the two have been utilized.
On today’s Locked on Lakers, Pete and I discuss a hideous rout at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, starting with Lonzo Ball tweaking his ankle. This leaves the Lakers with only Alex Caruso as a traditional point guard available in the organization if Ball does miss any time. Woof.
Even uglier than that prospect was the Lakers’ effort collectively, starting with the guys we were told were going to help institute a culture of competition. Far too often recently, the Lakers have gone out and stunk up the joint. Fortunately, because of this recent stretch of bad teams they’ve played, that’s been enough to get by. But against good teams (like Tuesday night in Denver), that simply isn’t going to cut it.
This isn’t to say only the veterans are the ones slacking off, but if they were sold to us as leaders, they have to, you know, lead.
Pete and I then turn our attention to Ingram and James’ continued awkwardness while they’ve been on the court together. At some point, the Lakers either need to try something else, or find a secondary player who makes more sense alongside LeBron. It’s just that simple, really.
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.