Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Lakers coach Walton will monitor James’ minutes

Lakers coach Walton will monitor James’ minutes

Walton has previously suggested he could rest James at times this season to ensure he does not burn out.

Walton told ESPN on Wednesday that he is aiming to use a variety of different lineup combinations this season.

"That's a goal for us", Walton said. "It will be a consistent theme for us this year". We're continuing to try and be our best season by season, but also as each one goes on.

"And obviously he gives us the best opportunity to be at our best". Cavs officials have privately joked that "the tread is off his tires" as James transitions to L.A. after playing so much last season.

There is skepticism about whether the Lakers really want to push the pace when LeBron starts playing more minutes, but I think if anything, you'll see him mail in defensive responsibilities like he did in Cleveland in favor of more efficient and precise offense. In order to do so, Walton presented his plan to employ a deeper rotation than a typical team's nine-to-10 man turnstile.

Earlier this week, Walton said he would play James a "reasonable" amount of minutes this season. But he's jumping higher, he's moving quicker the more we get out there and play.

With the regular season opener here for the Lakers, here are three players to watch on Thursday night. James claims that was a result of health, not achieving a goal.

As Brandon Ingram grew more accustomed to life in the National Basketball Association, he began to take off last season as he finished his sophomore campaign with an average of 16.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists.

"Didn't have a number [of games in mind] previous year", James said this week. "And he just slowly pulled away from me and got a layup".

Walton said James going 82-for-82 again is "definitely a possibility".

Besides, keeping the 14-time All-Star well-rested and fresh throughout the season and unleashing him come playoffs time appears to be the best route the team can take.

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