Rui Hachimura Credits His Improved Play To Lakers Being ‘More Comfortable’ Playing Together
Rui Hachimura, Lakers
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

With six wins in the last 10 games, the Los Angeles Lakers might be starting to figure something out in the final stretch of the 2023-24 NBA regular season. Although the losses to the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings were costly, the team did show that they can beat some of the best teams in the league with recent wins over the Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves.

One of the keys to victory for the Lakers as of late has been the play of forward Rui Hachimura, who has played well recently, especially when it comes to his efficiency on the basketball floor.

After Lakers practice on Thursday, Hachimura talked about his improved play recently, and he believes it has more to do with the team being more comfortable playing together.

“It’s just that we started playing together,” Hachimura said. “We’re really more comfortable with each other, I feel like it’s not only me. Everybody, especially the starting lineup, LeBron [James], AD, DLo, Austin [Reaves], myself. Just more comfortable playing with each other. We know our strengths and we play through those strengths the whole game. That’s where I think it’s coming from.”

Head coach Darvin Ham also chimed in on what he’s seen from Hachimura lately, and the explanation is pretty simple. Hachimura has kept things simple while being decisive in his decision-making, and that has been the difference.

“Just keeping it simple and being decisive is the biggest thing with him,” Ham said. “If you’re open then shoot it, if not drive it and if you drive it, drive it all the way to the rim. Do everything with aggression. He’s been doing that, and he’s been one of our best runners in transition. He gets some of the easy baskets that way. If teams try to zone us, he’s great at playing behind the defense or sitting himself in the middle of the lane around the free throw area.”

In 55 games played thus far this season, Hachimura averaged 12.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game while shooting a career-high 53.1% from the floor and 41.2% from beyond the arc. Although these aren’t eye-popping numbers, especially in the rebound department, he’s doing what is being asked of him, which makes him a valuable asset for Ham and his coaching staff.

Anthony Davis credits Rui Hachimura for his exceptional play for Lakers

Hachimura has played so well lately that it has caught the attention of superstar forward/center Anthony Davis, who recently had nothing but high praise for the 26-year-old forward.

Davis said that Hachimura has been “exceptional” for the Lakers lately and that he’s living up to the contract he signed during the NBA offseason.

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