Darvin Ham says he will take a close look at playing LeBron James at center more moving forward

Zach Stevens
2 Min Read

Without Anthony Davis, who was out due to lower back discomfort, the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, 111-102.

Davis being out forced head coach Darvin Ham to experiment a bit with his lineups. At times, he elected to go with LeBron James playing the center position.

Ham said that it may be something he continues to do moving forward.

James didn’t have an especially great game, as he shot just 10-of-24 from the field, but he did help the Lakers compete hard and make Minnesota really work to put them away.

Reserve Wenyen Gabriel also got quite a few minutes in Davis’ absence, and his energy was really felt, as he had eight points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots in 21 minutes.

Last season, as injuries ravaged the roster, Los Angeles played James quite a bit at the 5. While it helped open things up offensively, both in terms of outside shooting and the team’s transition game, it became somewhat compromised on the defensive end. The team finished 21st in defensive rating last year.

The Lakers didn’t do too badly defensively on Friday, as they held the Timberwolves to just 41.4 percent overall shooting and 32.5 percent from 3-point range.

But their offense remains very poor. They shot only 41.6 percent themselves while committing 22 turnovers, with some of them coming at inopportune times.

L.A.’s 3-point shooting, which has been historically poor, was somewhat better, as it made 31.0 percent of its attempts from deep. Troy Brown Jr. and Austin Reaves showed spark in that department, as they went 4-of-6 and 2-of-3, respectively, from that distance.

With an 0-5 record, the Lakers’ overall situation is quickly becoming dire. They will return home to host the Denver Nuggets on Sunday evening, the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, the Utah Jazz on Friday and the Cleveland Cavaliers next Sunday.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.