The Los Angeles Lakers have had inconsistent lineups and rotations throughout the season. With their trade deadline acquisitions last year, including D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Rui Hachmiura, the starting lineup had been consistent through the end of that season and into the playoffs. Since acquiring Gabe Vincent, Christian Wood, and Taurean Prince this offseason, it has led to uncertainty for Darvin Ham and the starting lineup for the Lakers.
As of recently, Los Angeles seems to be moving forward with the starting lineup of Austin Reaves, Russell and Prince next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers have struggled to find the right consistency amongst lineups and rotations. The Lakers and coach Ham have worked with several different lineups, with their only consistent starters being James, Davis, and Prince. Russell and Reaves have shuffled into the starting lineup alongside Hachimura, Vanderbilt and Max Christie.
Lakers Confirm Starting Lineup for the Rest of 2024
Coach Ham on Consistency and Lineup
After the Lakers’ much-needed win over the Oklahoma City Thunder this past Monday, Coach Ham spoke to reporters, stating:
“Just wanted to put as much skill and shot-making on the floor around our two captains, and those five, they’ve been pretty much our most consistent guys throughout the season thus far. For the foreseeable future, that’s going to be our lineup, barring any type of injury.”
For Lakers fans, this is the right step moving forward. The lack of consistency amongst the starting lineup and rotations has had a negative impact on the offensive and defensive end. This has also led to negative noise regarding Ham’s capabilities and job security. Moving forward with continuity can hopefully instill success in this Lakers team for the remainder of the year.
Analyzing Reaves and Russell as Starters
In Los Angeles’ push in the playoffs last season, the pair of Russell and Reaves was a combination that brought success and helped lead the team to a Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets. The pair meshed well from the trade deadline and showcased their versatile offense and grit on the defensive end. Furthermore, the duo was on display a lot through the end of the 2023 season. However, this year, the pair has been put on hold for various reasons. It was especially so because of the new roster additions in the offseason. Ham has had many starting lineup adjustments to determine what works best.
The two have only played a few games together in the starting lineup and have proven to bring efficiency to this Lakers team. When asked about the game and their chemistry, Russell’s message was clear: “We got a lot of credibility in the short period we have together, put us out there and it works.”
— Silver Screen and Roll (@LakersSBN) January 14, 2024
The Last Word
Inserting two of your offensive weapons into the starting lineup, especially with the chemistry that’s been built, feels like the right move. We haven’t seen much of them this year together. The Lakers used this pairing in their past two victories against the Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks. The combination was a pivotal part of the Lakers’ run last year. The numbers and consistency amongst the two give the Lakers coaching staff the confidence to move forward with them in the starting lineup.