Lakers News: Rui Hachimura Has Always Known He Can Play At This High Of A Level
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Rui Hachimura has been a revelation for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2023 Playoffs as he’s been one of their best players.

Hachimura started the postseason strong in the first round against the Memphis Grizzlies and after a quiet second round against the Golden State Warriors, he’s been a massive boost in the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets. Even though the Lakers are currently down 3-0 to the Nuggets, Hachimura has played incredibly well in all three games and looks like a key piece for the team to keep long term.

The Japan native has thrived in games that require more physicality, something he admitted when talking about playing against Denver and Nikola Jokic. While the results haven’t quite been there, there’s no denying how Hachimura has thrived in the most high-pressure games Los Angeles has had to date.

When watching Hachimura play, one can’t help but notice the confidence he’s exuding but he insists that part of him has always been present.

“I don’t know, the people that know me for a long time, from the Wizards or other players, the coaches, for me, I don’t think it’s nothing, it’s not new for me. I’ve had this for a while. It’s just a different opportunity, you know. The Lakers is like one of the biggest teams in the league and playing with LeBron, AD, highest level.

“So it’s just a different opportunity and it’s nothing for me, yeah.”

Playing in the bright lights of Los Angeles isn’t for every player given the expectations and pressure that come with it, but Hachimura looks like he’s taking all of that in stride. While he flashed some noteworthy moments during his time with the Washington Wizards, this stretch with the Lakers has been by far the best of his career.

There might not be many more games for Hachimura and the purple and gold to play as they are just one loss away from being eliminated, but this shouldn’t take away from what they’ve accomplished up to this point. Hachimura has been on a tear, and if he can keep that up then perhaps L.A. can extend their season.

Mo Bamba expected to be available for Game 4 against Nuggets

Hachimura has held up as well as one could hope for guarding Jokic, but he’s still undersized. To that end, the Lakers could have another option to throw at the two-time MVP as Mo Bamba is expected to be available for Game 4.

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