The Los Angeles Lakers picked up another big win on Tuesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies and have officially moved into the Play-In Tournament. As was the case in the Lakers’ prior win, it was a team effort propelling them with the likes of Austin Reaves, Dennis Schroder and Rui Hachimura stepping up to support the outstanding play of star big man Anthony Davis.
Hachimura was huge on this night, finishing with 17 points and six rebounds and providing the Lakers with some needed physicality against a tough Memphis team. The Lakers forward noted that his main focus that night was his aggression.
“Yeah, I was just trying to be aggressive on both ends,” Hachimura said after the win. “Defense, offense, rebounding, you know. I think I did a pretty good job and we were able to come out with a win.”
It was the Lakers’ third win in the last four games and they have now won six of their last eight while looking like one of the most dangerous teams in the Western Conference. One thing that is helping is that the group is continuing to grow together and build that chemistry, which Hachimura believes is coming along great.
“I think it’s been great,” Hachimura added. “Like I said before, it’s been two or three weeks and we’re still trying to figure out each other, trying to earn each other. Chemistry is really important so yeah, I think we’re just gonna keep doing this and hopefully get more wins together.”
Of course, the Lakers’ moves at the trade deadline brought about some changes to the rotation as Hachimura went from a starter to a reserve. While it is tough, Hachimura remains ready to contribute in any way possible.
“For sure, it’s tough,” Hachimura noted. “The role and minutes and everything changes so it’s hard for me to adjust, but it’s the same as everybody. I just got to get used to it and be ready always to make an impact on the games.”
There have been a lot of changes and movements within the Lakers rotation and some more will definitely be coming. With both D’Angelo Russell and LeBron James expected back at some point from their injuries, the rotation will once again change and that will affect Hachimura and multiple others.
But as long as everyone is focused and locked in on their roles and what they can bring, the Lakers should continue to be able to thrive.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham encourages Rui Hachimura to play with more physicality
Hachimura being focused on his aggression against Memphis was surely music to the ears of Lakers head coach Darvin Ham. While Ham has been extremely happy with Hachimura’s play, he has recently called for the forward to play with more physicality with LeBron James out.
“I’m really pleased with the way he’s played up until this point. I’ve always encouraged him to just be more aggressive and be more physical,” Ham said. “People talk about with Bron and DLo not available that it needs to be scoring, scoring, scoring, but we need a physicality on the glass. We need a physicality defensively and offensively a physicality in terms of playing downhill and getting to the rim with aggression.
“So that’s the biggest thing I’ve been telling him. But up to this point, he’s been amazing. He’s been great to coach, he listens, he allows himself to be coached, he works hard and is trying to get better and we’re extremely happy to have him.”
All of the Lakers have been stepping up recently and it is why the team now finds itself in a playoff position.
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!