Lakers Beat San Antonio as Anthony Davis Makes His Return, Rui Hachimura Makes His Debut
Manage episode 353547579 series 1657213
For all the excitement about getting Anthony Davis back in the lineup, and for putting newly acquired forward Rui Hachimura into it, there was still the grind-of-the-NBA nature of Wednesday's game. It was the second night of a back-to-back, against a lousy and slumping San Antonio team that has done precious little winning of late. It's not unusual to see teams do the bare minimum to get by, which it seemed the Lakers were willing to do in a 113-104 win that was competitive into the fourth quarter.
The game was disjointed, as Darvin Ham negotiated a minutes restriction for Davis and found minutes for Hachimura.
But it was easy to see the impact of both. Davis technically didn't pick up right where he left off - there was about four minutes of rusty play before he got it back into gear, finishing with 21 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in only 26 minutes.
Hachimura, who also came off the bench, seemed a little nervous early before finding a groove, finishing with 12 points and six rebounds.
So what did it mean to have those two guys in the lineup? The downstream impacts were significant. Thomas Bryant played 21 minutes, but Wenyen Gabriel didn't play at all. But the three guard lineups, specifically Dennis Schröder, Patrick Beverley and Russell Westbrook, were also part of the game, much to the consternation of Lakers Twitter. So is Ham going to cling to small ball? What does this look like when Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV are available again, which is expected over the next week or so? At the least, guys are going to get squeezed. Players like Walker and Troy Brown might find minutes more difficult to come by, particularly if Hachimura ends up in the starting lineup.
Ham is going to have a lot more branches on his option tree, that's for certain.
HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky
SEGMENT 1: The Lakers get it done against San Antonio in a workmanlike, clock-punching fashion. LeBron got help, and didn't have to carry the offense, which is great!
SEGMENT 2: More on AD's return and how he looked. Plus, Hachimura's debut!
SEGMENT 3: So what's coming next with the rotation, now that the roster is inching towards health?
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