Lakers News: Rui Hachimura Got ‘Flashbacks’ From Postseason With 32-Point Performance Against Grizzlies
Rui Hachimura, Lakers, Grizzlies
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

After a superb postseason, Rui Hachimura quickly proved his worth and became a key role player for the Los Angeles Lakers after re-signing in the offseason. However, this season has presented plenty of challenges for Hachimura with injuries and his role being inconsistent.

However, now that he has earned back his starting spot, the forward is shooting incredibly, giving L.A. some much-needed scoring punch. In his last 10 games, the 26-year-old is averaging 17.8 points on 60% from the field and 47.5% from 3-point range, returning to how he played last postseason.

Tuesday featured a return to Memphis for Hachimura, where he scored 29 points in Game 1 in the first round last year. He provided an encore by putting up 32 points and 10 rebounds on 11-for-14 from the field and a career-high 7-for-8 from 3. When asked about his performance, the former Gonzaga Bulldog had flashbacks to the last time he was in FedEx Forum, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:

“It felt like the same to me. When I came in here last night or today, this morning, I got all of the flashbacks from last year. I feel like we spent like two months here (laughs)… But we have good memories here. We’ve had pretty good games here. I was happy to be able to come back here, it’s been almost a year. But yeah, I think we got a big W, it was a great win.”

While his scoring is greatly needed with injuries to key players, rebounding seems to be an area that Hachimura is focusing on. Now putting up back-to-back double-doubles, he believes getting on the glass helps him find a rhythm:

“That’s how I get into rhythm. So I think getting more action on the rebounding, I can push the ball, you know, I get another touch when I get the ball. It’s easier for me to get into rhythm. I think I just got to keep doing that, the rebounding side. And just being aggressive on offense. That’s normal for me, but especially with Bron or AD out, I have more opportunity attacking the rim, shooting the ball. That’s how I can help.”

Everyone knows the 6’8″ forward can shoot the ball inside and out, but taking strides on both the defensive end and becoming an active rebounder are the next steps in his career. If he can continue pulling down five to seven rebounds a game and take the challenge defensively, his role with the Lakers will continue to grow.

Rui Hachimura credits his improved play to Lakers being ‘more comfortable’ playing together

It has not been a perfect season for the Lakers but they have been playing a lot better as of late. Since inserting Hachimura into the starting lineup, things have trended upward and he believes his recent play comes from the team being ‘more comfortable’ playing together.

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