Christian Wood in apparent disbelief after Darvin Ham’s latest starting 5 change

James Kingsley
3 Min Read
Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t seem like Los Angeles Lakers big man Christian is too fond of the team’s starting five announcement against the Atlanta Hawks for Tuesday night’s matchup. That starting five consists of LeBron James, Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, Taurean Prince and Jaxson Hayes.

That’s because outside of Anthony Davis, who is sitting out Tuesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, Wood has arguably been the team’s most productive big man in limited minutes. Per 36 minutes this season, the 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 14.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game on 47.1 percent shooting from the field and 31.6 percent shooting from deep.

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has elected to go with big man Hayes instead. In 36 minutes per game, Hayes is averaging 11.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game on 68.1 percent shooting from the field. The center has yet to make a 3-pointer this season.

In addition, Ham has elected to yet again go with swingman Prince in the team’s starting five. Prince has a combined five points in the Lakers’ last two games on 2-of-8 shooting from the field and 1-of-5 shooting from deep. He also has a plus/minus of minus-40 in a whopping 50 minutes of playing time.

As a result of Ham’s sometimes head-scratching lineup adjustments, numerous fans, analysts and media members are calling for a head-coaching change. Some players internally have also subtly taken jabs at Ham’s lack of on-court adjustments.

The Lakers are just 24-24 through 48 games into the season that has them in the ninth seed in the Western Conference. That’s despite James playing 43 games and Davis playing 46 games thus far in the campaign.

The trade deadline is just nine days away, and it seems that due to a level of uncertainty surrounding the team, things are starting to unravel a bit. The team is currently in the middle of a treacherous six-game road trip with a game on Tuesday night against the Atlanta Hawks, followed by games against the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets.

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James is a Los Angeles native who has been a fan of the Lakers since the Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones days. He has been writing and editing for over five years now and is excited to bring his skillset to the Lakers Daily team.