LeBron James Didn’t Get Much Help From His Starters
The Los Angeles Lakers suffered yet another close loss on Wednesday night, falling 116-111 against the Sacramento Kings.
We have seen this again and again: the Lakers have consistently lost games when they enter the final moments down by five points or less.
But it doesn’t matter how close the defeat is – a loss is still a loss.
Pat Bev at halftime:
0 points (0-1FG)
— MF LAKERS (20-25) (@maxchristieMVP) January 19, 2023
And the losses are made even worse by the fact that LeBron James is sometimes the only consistent starter for his team.
On Wednesday night, James’ peer Patrick Beverley had scored 0 points, 0 rebounds, and 2 assists during his first 13 minutes of the game.
After halftime, Beverley was hardly more productive and ended the night with 3 points, 1 rebound, and 2 assists.
But he wasn’t the only starter who was lacking for the Lakers.
Dennis Schroder produced 5 points, 2 assists, and 0 rebounds while Troy Brown was only good for 4 points and Thomas Bryant generated just 8.
Meanwhile, the bench was the true help in the game.
Russell Westbrook was solid yet again with 19 points, Kendrick Nunn was swinging with 14, Max Christie produced 12, and Wenyen Gabriel scored 10.
So, this raises the question: why isn’t Darvin Ham starting these guys instead?
The truth is that he has started them at times in the past.
All season long, the Lakers’ head coach has tweaked the lineup and made multiple adjustments to who was starting games.
The only consistent starter this year has been James – and Anthony Davis when he was healthy.
The lack of production from the rest of the starters was a big problem for the Lakers and it prevented the team from establishing any sort of solid rhythm or advantage over the Kings.