The Los Angeles Lakers are continuing to work out their best lineups and rotations early on this season. One that head coach Darvin Ham has turned to is a big frontcourt with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Christian Wood.
The Lakers have had success over the past few years using size to their advantage and this frontcourt has yielded some positives so far this season. While Wood isn’t the traditional center, he does take some pressure off Davis to be the lone big man on the court.
LeBron sees the positives of this lineup as well, especially when it comes to rebounding the ball. “Well, one, it gives us a lot of length in the frontcourt. Myself, AD and C-Wood,” James said.
“One of our biggest kryptonites over the last few years has been able to close out possessions. We do a great job of getting stops, but we give up offensive rebounds, and a lot of teams score second-chance points… To be able to have that ability to have that length and rebound those missed shots, it’s definitely key for us. It’s big time.”
The offensive glass has been the biggest issue for the Lakers’ defense so far this season. They are allowing 17.8 second-chance points per game, the fourth-worst mark in the league and as LeBron noted, that failure to rebound has ruined many possessions that could have been stops otherwise.
Wood being around to clean up the glass allows for Davis to be that defensive menace, knowing there is another big behind him to help with rebounding. But the big lineup also brings positives to the offensive end for the Lakers and James pointed to the different styles that each big brings to the table.
“Well, you have dynamic rollers and guys that can do multiple things out of pick-and-roll,” LeBron added. “Either setting and rolling or setting and popping. You have Jaxson [Hayes], who is one of the fastest bigs to come out of the pick-and-roll with his lob game.
“Obviously, AD can mix it up with his ability to roll and pop or whatever the case may be. … And also C-Wood gives us a lot of dynamic, and you have surrounding wings and guards that can spread the floor and knock down shots. It definitely helps guys that can penetrate the lane. Myself and AR, DLo and things of that nature. It gives us a lot of space.”
It is still a work in progress this early into the season, but LeBron likes what he has seen. “We’re going to continue to get better. I think we are still a little trying to figure it out, which is okay. Four games in, so we’re going to get a lot better throughout the season, but so far, we’ve liked some of the things that we’ve done.”
Once they iron out those kinks, the Lakers are going to be an extremely difficult team to deal with on both ends of the court.
Lakers’ LeBron James likely to continue playing less minutes in first three quarters
Darvin Ham has also been working to figure out the best way to manage James’ minutes and as of now, the best option has been to play the Lakers superstar less in the first three quarters to allow him to play the majority of the fourth. And this is something LeBron sees continuing.
“It’s definitely the way to worked out so far in the season. I think probably will continue to be a trend,” James said. “Obviously, that’s winning time. For myself, I love being out there for the fourth quarter being able to make plays. Like that’s the best quarter for me when it comes to being able to close out a game or being able to make plays for my teammates throughout the course of that quarter but you know, it’s worked for us.”
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