Taurean Prince Believes Lakers Can Benefit From Continuity After Injury-Plagued 2023-24 Season

Injuries hamper every team in the NBA, but some more than others and the Los Angeles Lakers fell under that category in 2023-24 as some key role players were unable to suit up consistently. To his credit, Taurean Prince played 78 games and became a steady force whether it be as a starter or reserve.

While the Lakers was able to survive to a certain extent by securing a playoff spot, they were faced with a tough challenge in the reigning champion Denver Nuggets and saw their season come to an end in five games.

If the Lakers were a higher seed then perhaps they would still be playing, but injuries played a large role in their regular season struggles. Notably, Gabe Vincent only played 11 regular season games and Jarred Vanderbilt never saw the floor after injuring his foot on Feb. 1.

When playing Denver, the Lakers needed all hands on deck but were unable to do so despite leading 69% of the series. Prince believes that being unable to find that cohesiveness prevented L.A. from competing for a championship this season.

“The only thing I think necessarily went wrong was just the fact that we didn’t have a complete team throughout the whole season, Prince said in an interview with Lakers Nation. “Besides that, the camaraderie was there. We had the talent, but just having that cohesiveness was important and we weren’t able to sustain that I don’t think until the In-Season Tournament where we got a little dose of it. But other than that, we weren’t able to have a really full team, everything was really in and out, lineups changing throughout the whole season. So I think that’s the real only negative that I can think of.

“As far as positive, I mean, honestly I saw that if we had the same record last year as we did this year, we would’ve been third in the West. So that just goes to show you the company that we’re a part of and how hard it is to win a game in the Western Conference.”

Now with potentially big changes looming, Prince is committed to the idea of keeping this core together and thinks health could result in different results for the purple and gold.

“I just think the continuity of the team is the most important thing,” he added. “Having everybody healthy and being able to throw different variations, whether it be a big lineup, small lineup, I think that versatility gives us the advantage.”

General manager Rob Pelinka has plenty of options to weigh this offseason and it is ultimately up to him if he believes this team as constructed could compete for a title. While some changes may be needed, it is reassuring to see Prince believe in this iteration of the Lakers despite some truly unfortunate and untimely injuries.

Taurean Prince ‘100%’ wants to re-sign with Lakers

Taurean Prince may not even be with the Lakers next season though as he is a free agent this summer. If it was up to him though, he would return to the Lakers due to his love for L.A. and teammates.

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