The closing stretch of the 2022-23 season is here and the Los Angeles Lakers continue to fight for their playoff lives.
It’s been an up-and-down week for the Lakers, who have blown multiple opportunities to climb up the standings, and now find themselves on the Play-In Tournament bubble.
Los Angeles is still very much in control of their own destiny, and have held up pretty well without LeBron James. Fortunately, Darvin Ham had good news on the James front as he said he expects the superstar to return before the end of the regular season. “Yeah, we anticipate him coming back at some point,” Ham said.
As far as how he think the team’s played without James, Ham admits there have been concerns regarding consistency and stagnation.
“Well I just think our consistency, once again, coming out with that urgency. I think we get a little too stagnant at times, and it’s not from a bad place, it’s not from a negative place in terms of guys wanting to be the one that spearheads us and when we’re struggling offensively, they want to be the guy that comes out making shots or try to take over form certain segments of the game. “We just have to continuously defend our tails off, make sure we’re getting good contests on shots and try to come up with rebounds, holding teams to one possession and then staying disciplined with our pace, our running habits, and sharing the ball. And we can live with the results.
“LeBron being out has revealed that we have a lot of different weapons that are very capable players on different sides of the ball that can help us achieve the goal that we’re trying to achieve and when he comes back, he’s just gonna add to it. But guys just got to play. We got to stay together and like I’ve been saying all year, we just got to continuously compete, stay together and hold ourselves accountable.”
Tough losses like the one to the Dallas Mavericks has started to affect the mood in the locker room, but news of James’s return has to provide some optimism. Hopefully his re-evaluation on Thursday goes well and he can come back sooner rather than later.
Darvin Ham staggering Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell’s minutes
Without James, the Lakers have struggled in spurts to score. In order to rectify that, Ham has started to stagger Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell’s minutes to ensure one of them is on the floor at all times.
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