Darvin Ham says he will take hard look at using LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Thomas Bryant in frontcourt

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham revealed that the team will “take a look at” playing LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Thomas Bryant together once Davis is able to return to the lineup.

Right now, Davis is out of the lineup with a stress injury in his right foot. The Lakers have turned to Bryant in the starting lineup in Davis’ absence, and the big man has delivered with some terrific play.

“Absolutely,” Ham said, per Jovan Buha. “I mean, the way A.D. is able to function out on the perimeter, we don’t want him to be too far on that side. We want him to have a happy balance. But definitely. They’re all very highly-skilled players – Bron, A.D., Thomas. They all can score at all three levels. They all can defend. They all can have good activity, good instincts. So, yeah, that’s something we’ll definitely take a look at.”

It’s worth a shot to see if the Lakers can create some more mismatches on the floor if Davis, James and Bryant all play together.

Prior to going down with his foot injury, Davis was dominating for the Lakers. The four-time All-NBA selection is averaging 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.1 blocks per game while shooting 59.4 percent from the field and 29.0 percent from 3-point range this season.

The Lakers certainly miss Davis’ presence in the lineup, but Bryant has done about all the team could ask for in his place.

The big man, who signed with the Lakers in free agency this past offseason, is averaging 13.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game this season while shooting 66.8 percent from the field and an impressive 45.2 percent from 3-point range.

Since moving to the starting lineup on Dec. 18 against the Washington Wizards, Bryant has been averaging 16.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in 13 games.

He’s become one of the Lakers’ best scoring options behind James, especially now that Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves are both out of the lineup with injuries.

While Ham didn’t guarantee that Davis, James and Bryant will play minutes together this season, one would have to think the Lakers explore the lineup to see if it gives them an edge against certain teams.

Having two bigs like Davis and Bryant that can score in many different ways should open up the floor for James and others as well. Davis and Bryant could also force teams to play bigger lineups, even if they don’t want to, in order to match up on the defensive end.

The Lakers are just half a game out of the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference, and they are very much in the mix for a playoff spot this season.

Once Davis returns, Ham is going to have a lot more options in his rotation, which should help the Lakers rattle off a few more wins in the second half of the 2022-23 season.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.