The Los Angeles Lakers’ three-game winning streak was snapped on Sunday in a 118-108 loss to the Chicago Bulls. With LeBron James returning from injury and Patrick Beverley gaining revenge on his former team being the two major storylines, the story of Rui Hachimura not receiving playing time is also up there.
In a game where L.A. needed some firepower and answers amid some key scoring droughts, Hachimura could have been a good candidate to help the team when needed. In a nine-man rotation versus the Bulls though, Hachimura did not taste the floor for the first time since being traded to the Lakers.
During his postgame interview, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham explained why Hachimura did not receive any minutes in the game and how the rotation can affect role players like him moving forward.
“There’s just not enough minutes for everyone,” Ham admitted. “Lonnie has been going through that the last several games. We have a lot of good players, through no fault of their own, but someone is gonna be left out of the rotation. Tonight it was Rui. Getting LeBron back out there was great, and now everybody just needs to get back on the same page and get back in rhythm with one another. Not saying that we were out of rhythm, but just getting back together and just playing a 12:30 game, you can use excuse after excuse, LeBron just coming back, whatever.
“But we got to come out and play basketball like we’ve been playing. We’ll fix the rest, but again, we have a good team, a deep team and guys are gonna get the short end of the stick. It just happened to be Rui tonight.”
At this point in the season, the Lakers should have established rotations already. And even with the return of James, there could have been some minutes for Hachimura to potentially provide a spark.
The Lakers’ next five games are all on the road and against teams that feature size and versatility in the frontcourt. Even though Hachimura did not play at home on Sunday, hopefully he will see the floor again beginning on Wednesday to assist the Lakers against bigger teams.
Lakers had interest in signing Leonard before Bucks signed him for rest of season
There have been several suggestions from the Lakers faithful over the past several games that the team needs to add some size to the frontcourt with Mo Bamba still out. While it seems that L.A. will not make any additions to the team before the playoffs, the Lakers did recently have some interest in a big man.
After a Jan. 13 workout with several prominent big men, the Lakers were rumored to have interest in signing Meyers Leonard before the Milwaukee Bucks eventually did for the rest of the season.
Leonard would probably not have seen the floor much in the purple and gold, but the Lakers having insurance at the forward and center positions would help with managing the minutes of Anthony Davis nearing the postseason.
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