Julius Randle and Brook Lopez played together for only five minutes against the Chicago Bulls last week, but it was enough for Randle to really appreciate the way his game complements Lopez’s game. “I really noticed the spacing in Chicago in the second half,” Randle said, and added, “If I’m in a screen and roll or attacking, getting downhill, he spaces the floor really well.” The Lakers play well when Lopez and Randle are on the court together, which has happened for 23 minutes this season. They are never better on defense than when Randle and Lopez play together — the team’s defensive rating is 74.7 with both players on the court, the best rating among any pair of players and far better than the Lakers’ overall rating of 101. The Lakers’ offensive rating is 107 with the two of them on the court together, significantly better than the team’s overall rating of 99.2, which ranks 28th. “Julius becomes the big man that’s sprinting down the lane,” Coach Luke Walton said. “He’s the one that’s switching out on guarding the guards. He’s playing more the traditional four. Which continues to allow Brook to do what he’s doing and score the ball and try a traditional five spot.” The lineup they’ve used the most with Lopez and Randle also includes Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. It has an offensive rating of 122.
Lakers may have found their ideal lineup, now they just need to use it
Los Angeles Times | Nov 27