Without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, the Los Angeles Lakers have gone 3-7 and are a half-game back of the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Along with trying to stay in the playoff picture, the Lakers are looking to rebound from their worst loss of the season against the Cleveland Cavaliers. In preparation for the Chicago Bulls, one major concern has been the lack of a leader emerging from the young core.
As they are learning how to become vocal leaders, their overall play has been too inconsistent to truly lead by example. Through all of the growing pains, head coach Luke Walton credits Tyson Chandler for stepping up as the team’s leader.
“Tyson is the main one, but you see some of the young guys try at different points,” Walton said. “But Tyson, for sure.”
Walton also went into more detail about the young core trying to fill those roles in the last 10 games, but not necessarily having the personality or experience to do so yet.
“If you’re not naturally a talker, you’re not just going to talk all the time. At times, guys are saying things,” Walton explained. “When you’re young, you don’t know the answers a lot of times. So you could be talking but you’re not saying the right thing.”
While James has begun running and participated in a shootaround, there are conflicting reports about a potential return date. As James will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, one report suggests he is willing to miss multiple weeks to fully recover from his groin strain.
With the Lakers entering a tough stretch of games after the Bulls, the hope is they can stay competitive.
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