One thing they need to work on, by the admission of head coach Darvin Ham, revolves around their rotation decisions.
Darvin Ham admits he needs to work on his rotations:
"My rotation, we gotta really dig into that and really figure it out. … Buckling down on our rotation, I'll start there. That's the main thing that on my mind."
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) October 30, 2023
One of the Lakers’ strengths, at least on paper, is depth. Rui Hachimura and Christian Wood came off the bench to score 11 points apiece in 17 and 14 minutes (respectively), and they also combined to grab 11 rebounds. But when a team has lots of depth, it can create a problem in terms of finding enough playing time for everyone.
The team clearly wants to limit LeBron James’ minutes just enough to keep him fresh for when it matters the most. He played 39 minutes on Sunday, which may not be a ton considering the contest went into overtime, but is certainly more than he is expected to play most nights.
James scored 27 points and also helped out with 15 rebounds and eight assists. As was the case in Thursday’s win over the Phoenix Suns, he was especially productive late in the game. Unfortunately, he also committed eight turnovers on Sunday.
Off the bench, guard Gabe Vincent got 32 minutes, especially since starting guard Austin Reaves struggled mightily. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis had another dominant performance with 30 points, 16 boards and three blocked shots.
The Lakers seem to be shoring up their transition defense and defensive rebounding, two of their biggest problems dating back to last season. But they still allowed Sacramento to carve them up in the paint and have a solid night from behind the 3-point arc.
Forward Jarred Vanderbilt, who is arguably their best and most versatile defender after Davis, has been on the shelf lately with a left heel ailment. Once he is cleared to play, giving him playing time will have to come at the expense of at least one player, which will present Ham with an additional challenge as far as figuring out his rotation decisions.