Injuries have prevented the Los Angeles Lakers from seeing what they have with a revamped roster that fans were excited about heading into the 2023-24 season.
LeBron James previously said that there’s no way for the Lakers to know who they are until they’re healthy, but the team took a positive step forward against the Houston Rockets as Jarred Vanderbilt and Rui Hachimura were listed as active.
Hachimura was held out for precautionary reasons, but Vanderbilt made his debut and gave Los Angeles another rangy and athletic defender to throw out on the floor.
Darvin Ham discussed having more of his athletic players back and said that he and the staff got a quick look at what their identity could be. “Yeah, I just think that athleticism and the size that we have on our wings between Taurean [Prince] and Cam [Reddish], Max [Christie], Vando, including Bron and AD and when Rui [Hachimura] returns.
“We have a plethora of really quick, larger athletic skilled wings. And that’s what’s been really I use the word frustrating, but that’s been the most challenging part of not having all those guys in a lineup together. But that day will come and will come soon. And we got a little glimpse of what it would look like tonight.”
Vanderbilt understandably looked a little rusty in his first game of the season, but Ham was still happy to see him back with his teammates.
“It was just his first time out for the year. He’ll get his game legs under him and the fact he’s out there going after rebounds and being in the way defensively, as he always is, and really slowing down the other team’s offensive threats. We’re gonna get a lot more of that from him. It was just the first [game]. The biggest thing that stood out to me and just the fact that he’s out there, and that made me feel extremely happy.”
After months of waiting, Ham and the fans are finally starting to see the vision of this roster and how effective they can be. Hopefully the good health persists and the purple and gold can finally string together more wins.
Los Angeles will be patient leading up to trade deadline
With the Lakers ailing, trade rumors started to heat up. However, Los Angeles will reportedly stay patient leading up to the trade deadline and evaluate their needs once the roster is at full strength.
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