After being named the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers last summer, many wondered what kind of relationships Luke Walton would build with his players and staff. Three months into the season, he has shown that he is well-loved and respected by his squad.
Two of the players that he has been giving a lot of attention to is the young duo of D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, who Walton has seen improved professionalism from lately. Walton recently gave high praise to those players and talked about the improvements he’s seen from their games.
Telling quote from Luke Walton on improved play of D’Angelo Russell & Julius Randle & how they’ve both "stepped up their professionalism" pic.twitter.com/xEWLx7sMBN
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 9, 2017
Russell shared that he has been given special instructions by his coach to come up with a routine before games which he believes will help him play even better. He also revealed how he and Randle have been calling each other out when one slacks off and how it has brought out the best in them.
D'Angelo Russell said a few games ago Luke Walton urged him to develop a routine. That has coincided with Russell's improved play lately.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) January 9, 2017
“I try to stay on top of Julius as much as possible. He lets me know when I’m slacking. I let him know. It causes us some confusion and butting heads. But we know what it is at the end of the day. It’s helping us both. It’s just growing up and keeping it real with each other.”
After losing 13 out of 15 games, the Lakers have recently found their groove once again and are now on a two-game winning streak with much of their success sparked by the stellar play of Russell and Randle. With more than half of the games this season left to play, the team still has a big chance to prove their doubters wrong and make it to the playoffs
With their young duo showing maturity beyond their years, the Lakers will definitely have a fighting chance to reach the postseason in mid-April.