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D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle to Come Off Bench for Several Games

David Blair/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott is making some drastic changes to the starting lineup, replacing youngsters D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle with Lou Williams and Larry Nance Jr.

The Lakers are 3-17 on the season and are coming off an ugly loss to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night. Scott is hoping this change will spark the team, and he plans to keep this change for the next couple weeks before reevaluating:

Naturally, Russell and Randle aren’t thrilled about moving to the bench, and it looks like a ridiculous move on the surface. One of the main goals of this season is to develop the team’s young core, and this doesn’t seem to be doing that properly, especially since they’ve been playing better lately:

However, the Lakers’ situation is unique. They have a retiring legend in Kobe Bryant who’s playing huge minutes and hijacking the offense when he’s on the floor. There are no plans to change his role at all for whatever reason, so moving Russell and Randle to the bench to go against second units without Bryant sharing the floor with them could be a positive. If the minutes stay consistent for Russell and Randle, and they close games, this may not be a problem.

Of course, given the current situation with the Lakers, there’s always the chance this is a disaster and things get even worse. Los Angeles plays in Toronto on Monday night.

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