Rui Hachimura has been sensational in the first few games of the playoff series against the Grizzlies. The Japanese player is showing his skills in shooting three-pointers and taking rebounds. The Los Angeles Lakers team bought him from Washington Wizards and is getting their money’s worth. Hachimura came to Los Angeles when the franchise was in deep trouble. The Lakers lost ten in their first 12 games. Nobody could believe this franchise could reach the playoffs this season. Hence, the Lakers making the playoffs is itself a tremendous positive for the team and their front office.
But the current Lakers lineup and what it was before the February trade deadline ended was very different. GM Rob Pelinka and the front office brought a lot of quality players to fill the gap, and the team looked balanced. Since then, the team has been hard to beat. However, the big influence has been Anthony Davis, who started turning things around in the regular season. After James missed a month’s game, the rest of the Lakers just followed AD as if he had been a pied piper. Evidently, Rui has been one of the most influential players in the game to take the squad to the playoffs arena.
AD And Ham In All Praise For Rui Hachimura
After securing another win in Game 4 of the playoff series, Anthony Davis was in all praise for Rui Hachimura. According to AD, “Rui always had confidence. He is a hard worker. Rui always works on his game. He does not complain. Rui has been a big part of our success.” He added that Rui always asks the coaches what kind of shots he might get in the series and works on them. However, none other than Darvin Ham, the coach, is more impressed with Rui Hachimura.
Ham feels proud of Rui for blossoming as a player after coming to the Lakers from the Wizards. Hence, the head coach decided to give him more time to play on the court. The Lakers have done exceedingly well to gain a healthy lead over the Grizzlies, as they lead 3-1 after Game 4. The Lakers are well aware of the fact that Hachimura will become a free agent after the season is over. At present, it seems like they would like to keep him on the squad for the foreseeable future. The Lakers might make a qualifying offer of $8.5 million. That might not be enough. The Athletic’s Jovan Buha feels Rui Hachimura might ask for a double-digit yearly salary if he keeps performing in this fashion going forward.
Rui Has Been Phenomenal In The Playoffs
Rui Hachimura mostly came out of the bench, but in the brief time he got on the court, the Japanese used it to the fullest. The Japanese impressed almost every Lakers fan. After joining the Lakers from the Wizards, the Japanese player played 33 games and had an average of 9.6 points and 4.7 rebounds, plus shooting 29.6% three-pointers. However, Darvin Ham decided to give Rui Hachimura more time on the court in the playoffs.
Albeit he is still coming off the bench, Rui’s scoring has improved significantly well. Moreover, in the playoff series against the Grizzlies, after three games, Hachimura has an average of 21.7 points and 5.3 rebounds. Rui Hachimura, in the first three games of the series, scored 75.0% from beyond the arc. The newbie is third in the scoring list for the Lakers in the playoff series after James and Davis, with 24.7 and 22.0 points per game, respectively.