In bringing in D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley at this year’s trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers added multiple players capable of being in the team’s rotation and possibly starting lineup. The onus now falls on head coach Darvin Ham to figure out exactly what the team’s starting lineup and overall rotation should be.
In regards to the starters, Ham has employed Russell next to Dennis Schroder in the backcourt in the two games since the deadline. While both are considered point guards, Russell is big enough that the Lakers aren’t sacrificing size as they were with Patrick Beverley in the position.
And this is something that will continue moving forward as Ham says he will continue to start Russell and Schroder together for the foreseeable future, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
Darvin Ham says he will continue to start both his point guards, Dennis Schroder and D'Angelo Russell, together in the backcourt for the foreseeable future. "Their games really complement each other," Ham said. "They’re not the same exact player. They’re different types of of… https://t.co/6M5fSSnsUX
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 14, 2023
Ham is right in that Schroder and Russell are very different players. Schroder is one of the fastest guards with the ball who thrives when fearlessly attacking the basket, while also hounding the opposing team’s guard as well. Russell plays at a much slower pace and is a better floor spacer, while also having the size to not be pushed around by bigger guards.
Conceivably the two could work together in the backcourt and it will then be a matter of the rest of the lineup fitting together. Once LeBron James is back on the court, it would seem likely to expect Rui Hachimura to continue in his starting role alongside James and Anthony Davis in the front court.
While there are other possibilities, such as Beasley, Austin Reaves, Troy Brown Jr. or Lonnie Walker IV, Ham believes the speed of Schroder and controlled game of Russell is the best way to go and time will tell if he is proven right or wrong.
Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell focused on fitting next to LeBron James, Anthony Davis
Russell is the biggest name the Lakers brought in at the deadline and it is a return to the team that drafted him back in 2015. And this time Russell is focused on fitting in with the Lakers’ superstar duo.
Russell noted that his main focus is to fit in with James and Davis and he feels the best way to make the transition smoother is through constant communication. There isn’t a lot of time remaining in the season and the Lakers need to get on the same page if they plan on making a playoff run so the quicker they all can come together, the better.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!