EL SEGUNDO — To gain further clarity if two of his young guards can improve their with different roles, Lakers coach Luke Walton will start D’Angelo Russell at shooting guard and Jordan Clarkson at point guard for when the Lakers (20-49) host the Cleveland Cavaliers (45-23) at Staples Center.
After serving as the Lakers’ starting guard all season, Russell came off the bench for the past three games for two reasons. One, Walton said he wanted to evaluate Clarkson at point guard in a traditional lineup considering the Lakers are in a rebuilding season. Two, Walton seemed interested in seeing how Russell would handle a demoted role.
But Walton also had said he planned to feature Russell and Clarkson together. Walton has not liked the results in which Russell and Clarkson have played in their traditional roles. While both are defensively tested, both often need to operate with the ball in their hands while having a scoring mentality. Russell and Clarkson have publicly supported starting together in a different role.
The lineup switch coincided with veteran guard Nick Young sitting out with a stomach bug.