With the Los Angeles Lakers reeling and having lost four straight games, former Lakers champion Lamar Odom recently proposed a new starting lineup for the team.
This starting 5 would be a problem!!! https://t.co/R98BxM3GhV
— LAMAR ODOM (@LamarOdom) December 22, 2023
The lineup of LeBron James, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt and Anthony Davis has only played four minutes together across two games this season, registering an offensive rating of 100.0 and incredible defensive rating of 33.3. It’s a very small sample size, so those numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, but they’re still very interesting nonetheless.
Odom’s proposed lineup would enable the Lakers to switch a lot on defense. Reaves isn’t the best defender, but with players like Davis and Vanderbilt on the floor, things surely wouldn’t be too dire for Los Angeles on that end of the floor.
Reaves started the regular season as a starter but was moved to a bench role after a November loss to the Houston Rockets. He’s recording 15.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while knocking down 47.7 percent of his shots from the field and 36.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Vanderbilt made his season debut earlier this month after missing the start of the campaign due to a heel injury. He recently admitted that he’s been pushing himself to play at less than 100 percent because he knows how far the Lakers can go this season if fully healthy.
Removing D’Angelo Russell from the starting lineup would likely help the team’s defense. He offered an interesting quote after the team’s latest loss on Thursday night that appeared to anger lots of fans.
D'Angelo Russell on his defense: "That's where I try to be better, but that's not what I do."
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) December 22, 2023
Since winning the NBA In-Season Tournament, the Lakers have gone 1-5. Things aren’t about to get any easier, as the team will close it’s current road trip with a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder (18-8 and second in the Western Conference). It will then face the Boston Celtics (21-6 and first in the Eastern Conference) at home in a Christmas Day showdown.
It’ll be interesting to see if head coach Darvin Ham, who has been taking a lot of heat recently, uses the starting lineup Odom suggested. Perhaps that’s the spark the team needs to turn things around.