After lineup instability, Lakers stick with small-ball group – Press Telegram

LOS ANGELES – A 68-game in-play event finally took place Monday night: the Lakers played their small ball starting lineup for the sixth time this season.

This may seem like an unremarkable marker, and for any other NBA team it probably is. But for the Lakers, his LeBron James lineup at center with Russell Westbrook, Malik Monk, Austin Reaves and Stanley Johnson is now his most played starting lineup of the season.

It is an indication of the ugly injury situation that the team has faced throughout the year, in addition to its inconsistent game. Coach Frank Vogel spent most of the season pulling the strings, never starting any group more than five times before Monday against the Toronto Raptors. The Lakers have played 32 different starting lineups this season.

With Anthony Davis abandoned, the Lakers came into Monday night with a 7-6 lead when James plays center. While it hasn’t led to as many wins as the team has hoped lately, the 37-year-old seemed to believe that joining a group was a better option than continuing to research.

“Obviously, it’s a small dose, but I mean we’ve had so many different changes in training this year and we’re trying to figure out which ones work best, which was probably the only one that exceeded .500,” he said. “So we try to keep up with that. We try to have some consistency with some formations.”

It was not true that the group had gathered for Monday’s game. Among the team he widely believed that James, who was dealing with pain in his left knee, could take the second night of a consecutive break after playing 30 minutes with 31 points against Phoenix. But after warming up, James decided to play in what Vogel described as a “real decision in game time.”

The Lakers and James themselves have acknowledged that the knee, which has caused him to lose six games in the last two months, continues to annoy James even though he has kept his attack on NBA scoring leaders. The Lakers have a consecutive run at the end of this week, visiting Toronto on Friday before flying to Washington for a game on Saturday.

James said last week that the team’s weak place in the standings didn’t motivate him to play an injury he could normally sit in.

After lineup instability, Lakers stick with small-ball group – Press Telegram Source link After lineup instability, Lakers stick with small-ball group – Press Telegram

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