Lakers Rumors

Lakers Rumors, D’Angelo Russell Expected to Be Benched for Jarred Vanderbilt

Head coach Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers intends to alter his starting lineup after his team has dropped five of their previous six games and is in need of a spark. For Saturday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jarred Vanderbilt is anticipated to start in place of D’Angelo Russell, according to Anthony…

Head coach Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers intends to alter his starting lineup after his team has dropped five of their previous six games and is in need of a spark.

For Saturday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jarred Vanderbilt is anticipated to start in place of D’Angelo Russell, according to Anthony Irwin of Blue Wire Pods and Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.

Lakers Rumors

Lakers Rumors
Lakers Rumors

This would be Ham’s second significant change to the starting lineup this season. After nine games, he moved Austin Reaves to the bench and Cam Reddish to the starting five.

After a 3-6 start to the season, Los Angeles’ performance has improved with 12 victories in 20 games following that change. In his previous 21 games, Reaves is averaging 16.2 points on 39.0 percent three-point shooting, 5.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Alongside some of those positive experiences, there have been some unsettling outcomes that may call for more action. At minus-3.4, the Lakers continue to have the third-worst first-quarter scoring margin of any NBA club. They are just ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers (minus-4.4) and Detroit Pistons (minus-3.9).

In their last four games, the Lakers have allowed 43 points more in the first quarter overall. With 15.3 points on 38.0 percent three-point shooting and 6.3 assists per game in 28 games this season, Russell has strong overall statistics.

But since the beginning of December, Russell’s performance has plateaued. In eight games, he’s scoring 9.8 points a night on 37.5 percent shooting.

In the last stretch of the 2022–23 regular season, the starting five of the Lakers—Russell, Vanderbilt, Reaves, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis—outscored opponents by 20.6 points per 100 possessions, according to Sam Quinn of CBS Sports.

Due to a heel ailment, Vanderbilt missed the first six weeks of the season and is currently getting back into game condition. Since making his debut on December 2, he has made eight appearances and scored a total of seven points on 3-of-16 shooting.

After Monday’s loss to the New York Knicks, Vanderbilt acknowledged to reporters that his ailment still limits his range of motion.

“It’s still in the process,” he stated. I’ve now completed five games. I didn’t think it would return that quickly. Continue pushing through it and making an effort to be upbeat.”

James and Davis now have an even greater responsibility to lead the Lakers as a result of all of these problems. Despite keeping up their part of the contract, the team’s 15-14 record still places them ninth in the Western Conference.

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