The Los Angeles Lakers are set to take the floor for their second preseason game on Tuesday night at Staples Center once again against the Denver Nuggets.
However, the starting lineup will feature a minor change with guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope heading to the bench with second-year guard Josh Hart getting the start, according to Tania Ganguli of The LA Times.
Josh Hart will start for KCP tonight. Luke Walton has been really happy with how he’s played during camp.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) October 2, 2018
This change gives Hart a chance to show what he can do with the starting lineup that will put him a different spot of likely playing more off the ball with the ball handling coming from Rajon Rondo, LeBron James, and even Brandon Ingram. This will show whether he can be a contributing factor offensively in that more defined role while he can be a factor defensively.
Hart performed well in the preseason opener scoring seven points on 2-of-5 shooting from the floor along with two rebounds, two blocks, and a steal. He has shown much growth in his game with an improved ability to get to the basket with more body control along with his improved scoring prowess. This presents a scenario for Hart to potentially ingrain himself in the starting lineup if he’s able to prove that he can be a huge asset.
Meanwhile, this isn’t a demotion for Caldwell-Pope, but it could be a chance for him to show that he can possibly mesh with the second unit better. He had struggled in the preseason opener with his shot missing all five attempts while clanking of his looks from beyond the arc. He finished the game with two points on a pair of free throws along with two rebounds, two assists, and a steal in 21 minutes played.
It is clear that there is plenty of adjusting going on for the Lakers with their lineups figuring out what could work best for the betterment of the team on the floor. Tuesday night will be another chance before the regular season if this change may be something that will work out.
Bob Garcia IV
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