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The Lakers are benching D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, and neither can believe it

The two young Lakers don't seem thrilled with their demotion.

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The 3-17 Los Angeles Lakers hit a new low on Sunday when they were blown out by the Detroit Pistons in a loss that was much worse than the eventual 111-91 final score. Byron Scott's response: bench the two players Lakers fans are most excited to watch.

D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, the franchise's last two first-round picks, will make way for veteran Lou Williams and rookie Larry Nance Jr. when the Lakers face the Raptors on Monday.

Scott said the move was to give the starting unit more "energy" and will last for at least 5-10 games. He added that this wasn't due to Russell and Randle's respective individual performances, but rather their fit alongside the other starters.

Nevertheless, the two young cornerstones are baffled.

Kobe Bryant, meanwhile, will start despite recovering from a stomach flu that he admitted would keep him sidelined if it wasn't his last season.

Lakers fans are understandably livid that their two beacons of long-term hope have been demoted.

Randle's posted double-doubles in four of his last five games, including a 19-rebound performance in a victory over the Wizards. Russell's play has been uneven, but he's also scored in double figures in four of his last five games.

They are far from the solution to the Lakers' poor play, but they are also far from the problem. In a season that's lost anyway, why not let them play?

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