The new-look Lakers continue to impress as a growing team under head coach Luke Walton. Walton, 36, is the NBA’s youngest head coach and is only three years removed from being a player himself. His youth and short time away from playing the game make it easy for his players to relate to him.
Yes, Walton brought over an offense highlighting spacing and ball movement he got from Golden State, his former coaching gig, but he also preaches defense and the importance of protecting possessions. The most exciting element of the game Walton has seemed to instill in his young team is togetherness, an attribute his players have latched onto as they rally behind one another game in and game out. The unity among this team is what makes them so hard to beat and makes them a team opponents must game plan for.
Because the Lakers play unselfishly as one and have so many interchangeable parts, they are truly a deep team and have the highest scoring bench in the league to prove it. This all came into play in their Thursday night come from behind victory against the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers were down by 19 points at one point before the half and came away with a ten point win.Nick Young, or should I say Swaggy 3, was a highlight reel once again for LA hitting big shots during the Lakers’ comeback run. But it wasn’t just his three-pointer that was on fire, Young’s commitment on the defensive end is truly rallying the troops and earning him more respect around the league. Young may be too far into his NBA career to earn a Most Improved Player Award, but if he continues to excel at such a high level, he has the chance to rewrite his entire career.
Nick Young 💦 home another 3️⃣ as the Lakers’ run continues! https://t.co/BiwEierFEX
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 11, 2016
Young ended the night with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
Another player who is really making a name for himself this year is Julius Randle. Randle has been the Lakers most consistent and dominating force this season. He is showing a real prowess for the game and is beginning to demonstrate a wide range of skills every night. What is most notable with Randle is his coachability which can clearly be seen in his improvements from last year, and game-to-game so far this season. He also has that fight you want out of a big man without the volatility of a Draymond Green or DeMarcus Cousins, whom he had some words for after the game.
Yes, the young Lakers are flourishing and even rookie Brandon Ingram is beginning to look more comfortable on the floor and is becoming a big part of the Lakers’ success. Although the rook has yet to have a breakout game offensively, he was a +13 in the win against the Kings and set up the dunk of the game.
— Heatdex (@heatdex) November 11, 2016
Ingram is lucky to come out of college and have a coach like Luke to show him the ropes. Walton is letting the youngsters play their game, letting veterans like Lou Williams lead down the stretch, and holds stars like D’Angelo Russell accountable. Russell did not see any part of the fourth quarter and after the game Walton reiterated the need for him to cut back on his turnovers. It’s a good thing the Lakers have enough depth that they can sit their starting point guard on an off night, but more importantly that Walton is laying the foundation for team ball over individual play.