In Wednesday's game against the New Orleans pelicans, the Los Angeles Lakers needed a change. Nobody knew exactly what this change was supposed to be, but something had to be done after losing consecutive games against the last 10 teams.
Moments before the information, it was revealed that the change would occur in the original composition. Instead of Brandon Ingram taking the lead, the Lakers returned Rajon Rondo with the starters, as well as Reggie Bullock and Brandon Ingram on the wings and Kyle Kuzma and LeBron James in front. That's right: James started at the center of the Lakers on Wednesday.
James spent some time in the center this season, as expected, but few expected him to start a game in the middle, especially when the match was against him. Julius Randle, Anthony Davis and the Pelicans.
The first feedback from the "Big Man 'Bron" experience? Mixed.
With James playing in the center of the points, the Lakers were able to do a lot of interesting offensive things. As a result, three different players finished with at least 20 points on more than 50% of the field shots. Rondo also took advantage of the open lanes that James created by playing in the middle, giving away 16 assists.
Defensively, things were about as bad as expected. In the 21 minutes they played together, the new starting team allowed 125.5 points for 100 possessions. Overall, they scored a net score of -14.7, the worst score of any group that played more than three minutes together. That's – Cómo is dicing? – not great.
And yet, the Lakers left Staples Center with a huge win in the column.
After the match, Kuzma said he was encouraged by what he had seen among the top five teams in the team.
"I found that it was pretty good." The biggest problem when we became small, is that we have to be able to bounce back, but I think most of the time we are a pretty good team of twists when we want to be and if we can continue to do it, it could be good for us., says Kuzma.
Luke Walton also saw some things he liked about the first unit, but he did not hesitate to use it or not when the Lakers hosted the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
"I think we just had a sense of urgency on the defensive side. Try to stay connected and try to follow the game plan and try to bounce basketball to start our attack, "Walton said.
"We'll see if we'll stay with this group for the next game. I have not been to Milwaukee yet and they have all kinds of match problems, but if that's the group we have, then all right, we're faster and more athletic. We can be more aggressive on the ball and try to force the turnovers, and look out and run, "added Walton. "We will watch the film about it, learn from it and then make a decision."
The Bucks will be a change of pace for the new starting line, figuratively and literally. On Wednesday, the Lakers saw Randle and Davis, who most often like to break it with paint. On Friday, they will face the big men of the Bucks, Brook Lopez, Nikola Mirotic and Ersan Ilyasova.
If the Lakers can follow both ends of the ground with their baseball training against Milwaukee, they may have finally found the key to sneak into the playoffs. Otherwise, we go back to the drawing board.
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