The Los Angeles Lakers are getting ready for a new season with big dreams and a well-thought-out plan. As they navigate through the early challenges of the NBA season, the team is facing two main concerns: LeBron James’ playing time and their ongoing difficulties with getting rebounds. Let’s explore these issues and see how the Lakers intend to deal with them for a successful season.
Team Facing Rebounding Issues
In a recent game, Anthony Davis’ legs were showing signs of tiredness as he came out of an ice bath. Anthony Davis impressively grabbed 19 rebounds that night. However, it was Christian Wood’s contribution to the team’s efforts to secure rebounds that caught the Lakers’ attention. The Lakers have been emphasizing the significance of grabbing rebounds. They have also stressed the need to play better defense during transitions in their discussions before and after games. Coach Darvin Ham emphasized the need for continuous effort and improvement in this area. He acknowledged that getting rebounds can be unpredictable. Things like slippery balls, strange bounces, and long rebounds make it a tough part of the game.
Despite the challenges, the Lakers are determined to make getting rebounds a top priority to strengthen their defense. To deal with their rebounding issues, the Lakers are considering various solutions. Giving more playing time to Christian Wood, who has been making a positive impact, is one option. Wood’s one-on-one defensive tasks and focused play have proven valuable. Also, his “go get it” mentality aligns with the Lakers’ goals for getting rebounds. The Lakers recognize that some of their early-season problems, like shooting, may improve over time. However, they understand that their size and strength won’t change. They need to find physicality somewhere other than relying solely on Anthony Davis.
Lakers Managing LeBron’s Playing Time
LeBron James, an NBA legend, has been at the center of discussions regarding how much he plays this season. The Lakers initially aimed to limit LeBron’s time on the court to keep him fresh for his 21st season in the league. However, this plan changed quickly after the first game. In a twist of events, LeBron’s time on the court increased from the initial 29 minutes to 35 in the second game, and he played the entire fourth quarter. The results were clear: the Lakers scored more points than their opponents when LeBron was on the court, but they lost by a significant margin when he was on the bench. The Lakers’ decision to extend LeBron’s playing time shows the fine balance they must strike between preserving him for the long run and securing victories in the present.
The goal is to ensure LeBron is available for the postseason, where his impact is immeasurable. However, the recent change from the initial plan, including a 39-minute game, is raising concerns. With LeBron nearing his 39th birthday and a significant regular-season workload, there is a real risk of wearing him out. The Lakers must find a sustainable approach to managing their time to achieve their ultimate goal of a successful postseason run. The Lakers’ strategy for the season involves addressing rebounding issues and managing LeBron James’ playing time. These two critical aspects will play a pivotal role in their quest for success, with a focus on reaching the finish line with a well-rested LeBron James. As the season unfolds, the Lakers will need to strike a delicate balance to ensure success both now and in the playoffs.