Ham decided to start D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Taurean Prince, LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the team’s win over Oklahoma City on Monday night.
Darvin Ham explains tonight's starting lineup:
"Wanted to put as much skill and shot-making around our captains and those guys have been our most consistent guys. And for the foreseeable future, that's gonna be our lineup."
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) January 16, 2024
The Lakers snapped a two-game skid on Monday, and both James and Davis thrived with the new starting lineup around them. The Lakers have used this group in previous games this season (it was their starting lineup on opening night), and it appears Ham believes this group will give Los Angeles the best chance to win.
Davis led the way for the Lakers on Monday night, scoring 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field (9-of-10 from the charity stripe) to go along with 15 rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.
He and James both had big scoring numbers, as the four-time champion finished the win with 25 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field (1-for-2 from 3-point range), seven rebounds and six assists.
Ham has used several different lineups this season – partially due to injuries – but this lineup may have the most offensive talent in it.
James, Davis, Reaves and Russell are the team’s four leading scorers this season. Prince (9.8 points per game) is the team’s sixth-leading scorer behind Rui Hachimura.
Putting Reaves and Russell on the floor gives the Lakers more players that can create off the dribble and score the ball at a high rate. Russell had 39 points in the Lakers’ loss to the Utah Jazz over the weekend.
This season, per NBA.com, the Lakers have a net rating of plus-1.3 points with the lineup of James, Davis, Reaves, Russell and Prince on the floor. That lineup also boasts an impressive offensive rating of 112.7.
The Lakers and Ham are hoping that this lineup change can propel the team on a little run to get back into the mix for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
After Monday’s win, the Lakers moved into the No. 10 seed in the West with a 20-21 record.