Josh Hart jumps Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in Lakers’ starting lineup

first_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers “I addressed them,” he said. “I said ‘look, as players, it’s your guys’ job to play the game and as the coach, I will fight fights that I feel like I need to for the guys.’”Throughout the preseason and early season, the Lakers have struggled to adapt to a new emphasis on freedom of movement, which limits defenders’ ability to use their hands and arms to stop both ball-drivers and off-ball cutters running into empty space. Around the league, foul calls are up, but Walton pointed out Monday that the Lakers’ paint-driving style should be drawing more fouls than it has: The Lakers had only shot 73 free throw attempts to 97 by opponents in their first three games. PHOENIX — It took just three games for Josh Hart to break into the starting lineup.The Lakers made a switch at shooting guard on Wednesday night, starting the second-year Villanova product for the first time this season over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. While Luke Walton didn’t directly announce the change prior to tip-off against the Suns, he alluded that a change might be in the works before giving Hart his shot.In the first three games, Hart was tremendous off the bench, averaging 17 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game while shooting over 47 percent from 3-point range. Building off the momentum of earning Summer League MVP, Hart proved to be one of the most capable rotation players during the start to the season.At the same time, Caldwell-Pope began the season in a funk: He averaged just 4.7 points per game and was 1 for 6 from 3-point range. Walton acknowledged the shooting struggles. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“The most important thing with him is he keeps playing on defense,” Walton said. “We got him guarding the other teams’ best player at times. He’s fighting over screens, he’s cutting from the weakside and all the other things we’re asking him to do. When you can shoot the ball as well as he can, he’ll figure that shot out soon enough.”NBA FINES WALTON $15,000Two days following his postgame rant against the officiating in an overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Walton was fined $15,000 by the NBA for his comments.It was an expected consequence from the moment Walton opened his mouth to open his press conference, complaining that the Lakers had been repeatedly hampered on defense by freedom of movement rules, but not benefiting from the same kinds of calls on offense. Before the Lakers tipped off against Phoenix, Walton said he picked the battle for his players to keep them from having to speak up (and get fined).Related Articlescenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Still, Walton said, it’s not just about the officials.“Well a lot of it is in our control on limiting the fouls,” he said. “That is us playing better defense, that is us not jumping at pump-fakes from jump shooters. That is us doing our work early and not reacting to what the offense does.” Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed last_img

Leave a Reply