Lakers report: Luke Walton turns to yoga to help look at the big picture

A noted yoga aficionado, Lakers Coach Luke Walton hasn’t been able to get in any yoga sessions while on the road since this season started. The sessions he gets to at home help reset his mind.

Mindfulness is important for Walton as a coach. It’s important to him his players practice mindfulness too.

“The yoga does help with that a lot; a lot,” Walton said. “But it’s very important from a coaching standpoint that we stay levelheaded and we stay able to look at the big picture and what we’re trying to do. That obviously is mindfulness. You get caught up in the wins and losses and the competition, you can get away from what you want to do as a coach and what we want to do as a team. So it’s important not only for myself, but the whole staff is constantly on the same page.”

The concept takes on a more micro-focus when it comes to his players. It means paying attention to the layers of what they’re asked to do. It means understanding why, not just what.

“I don’t want to just do drills to get better at doing the drill,” Walton said. “I want our guys to conceptualize what the overall picture is of where we’re trying to get to. As we’re playing, be aware of how they’re defending our pick and rolls and instead of trying to just keep beating it, use that information to our advantage and take advantage of knowing the way that we’re being covered and what not. Being aware of the stuff we’re doing, what the bigger picture is and constantly trying to figure out what’s next instead of just coming out to the court and doing what you’re told and not really thinking about it.”

No fractured finger for Randle

Lakers forward Julius Randle sprained the ring finger on his left hand against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday. Randle had an X-Ray before Friday’s game that returned negative for fractures, allowing him to start against the Miami Heat.

Randle has played in 35 of the Lakers 40 games this season and entered Friday’s game averaging 13.7 points and  making 49.5% of his shots. Two games ago he notched his second triple double of the season. Against the Trail Blazers on Thursday, he scored 17 points with nine rebounds and five assists.


Rookie center Ivica Zubac returned to the Lakers after another day-long stint with the Development League team. Zubac had nine points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals in 30 minutes with the D-Fenders on Thursday. He was inactive with the Lakers on Friday. … While the Lakers struggled with turnovers earlier in the season, they’ve lately done well. In the three games leading up to Friday’s game, they set new season lows for turnovers committed. They allowed eight to Toronto on Sunday, seven to Memphis on Tuesday and six to Portland on Thursday. … The Lakers have used 13 starting lineups this season and no player has started in every game.

Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli

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