Rui Hachimura

Arnab Bose


Rui Hachimura Can Be The X Factor For Lakers Against Grizzlies In Playoffs Battle

The newest addition Rui Hachimura, is proving to be a worthy inclusion to the newly formed Los Angeles Lakers side. The Japanese player joined the LA side in February when things were not looking good for the team. At the time, the front office of the Lakers made the necessary changes to get the team on the right track. A lot of young skillful players came in to save the team from missing back-to-back postseasons. The team has managed to do well to hang in there after the regular season was over. After finishing 7th, the Lakers won the play-in game against the Timberwolves and reached the playoffs.

Against all odds, the Lakers won the first game against the Grizzlies in Memphis. It was a terrific turnaround for the purple and gold. And in all these games, Rui Hachimura came off the bench to make an appearance. The 25-year-old Japanese had been making small contributions to the team’s success. But at the first game against the Grizzlies, Hachimura was on a whole other level. He scored 29 points, the most for the Lakers in that game.


Rui Hachimura Can Be The Lakers’ Trump Card In Playoffs

Rui Hachimura
Rui Hachimura (Los Angeles Lakers) source – NBA

The LA side won the last night’s game comfortably in the end. However, in the next encounter against the Grizzlies on the same court, the Lakers had a tough time. As the hosts made it even with the visitors. Hence, the series is now level 1-1. The Lakers might have lost however, the Japanese player was on song again. The Grizzlies beat the Lakers 103-93. Out of the 93 points of the Lakers, Rui Hachimura scored 20. He came off the bench again to help his team, but the great effort ended up in a losing cause. However, Rui Hachimura became the first player for the Lakers to score back-to-back 20+ points in playoffs coming off the bench since Magic Johnson in 1996.

It is no wonder that his teammates are proud of Hachimura, like D’Angelo Russell. D’Lo was in all praise for Rui Hachimura as he spoke in a post-match interview about the back-to-back strong performances of the Japanese. Russell mentioned, “Rui is shooting the ball pretty well. Hachimura is doing everything that he is asked. He can make this series his own. He has what it takes.” Hachimura can make a difference for the Lakers in the playoffs. As it turns out, the Japanese play better in the playoffs. Rui Hachimura previously played 5 playoff games for the Wizards in 2021. Adding to that, he have played two more with the Lakers. In these seven matches, Rui Hachimura averages 17.5 ppg, plus he has scored 20+ points in the last four games in the playoffs. Rui’s strength is shooting 3-pointers.

The Japanese Can Get A Lot Better

Rui Hachimura LeBron James
Rui Hachimura LeBron James Lakers

Can this be a sign that Hachimura is about to unleash himself in the upcoming playoff matches? Furthermore, Rui has scored the last two 20+ points in away games. What if it’s a home game, and will he be able to score 30+ coming off the bench in those games?

Moreover, the way his performances are improving, it is not totally out of the question. Last night there were not many positives to take for the Lakers other than Hachimura’s performance. Besides LeBron James, Rui Hachimura was the only Lakers player to score 20 points last night.