Darvin Ham gives early insight into what Lakers’ starting 5 looks like so far

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

With the Los Angeles Lakers playing their first preseason game on Monday night, head coach Darvin Ham has offered some early insight into the team’s starting lineup.

Of course, that unit could change at some point, depending upon how some of those players perform on the court. In addition, injuries could force Ham to move others into a starting slot.

The presence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis among the starters is the least surprising aspect of this news. It was a given that they’d be part of this unit, though it’s uncertain how much action the two veterans will see during the preseason.

That’s because both Davis and James have struggled with injuries during the past two campaigns. In the case of Davis, his extended absences in each of the last two seasons have gutted any chance of a deep playoff run by the Lakers.

Also, James is set to begin his 20th NBA season when the Lakers take the court for their opener against the defending champion Golden State Warriors. That status is indicative of a player who has nothing more to prove and only needs to fine-tune his timing.

Russell Westbrook figures to be the most watched player in the Lakers’ lineup, given his woes from last year. His chemistry problems led to trade rumors during the 2021-22 campaign that continued into the offseason.

There has been some question as to whether Westbrook would be more of an asset off the bench for the Lakers.

However, Ham has indicated virtually from the time that he was hired that he has confidence in what Westbrook can give the Lakers during the final year of his contract.

Kendrick Nunn’s injury during last year’s preseason resulted in his missing the entire regular season. Even though he’s not likely to be viewed as closely as Westbrook in these exhibitions, the contributions he provides to the Lakers should be interesting to watch.

Damian Jones is returning to the Lakers after a short stint with the team during the 2020-21 season. Ham isn’t likely to get any major production out of him, so his status may depend on the team’s overall success.

Four of the Lakers’ six preseason games will be at home, beginning with three games at Crypto.com Arena. That first home opponent on Monday night will be the Sacramento Kings.

Share This Article
Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.