With the postseason just a few weeks away, the Los Angeles Lakers need to bring their A-game every single night. And with LeBron James just getting back out on the court, they don’t have much time to get back in a rhythm and find consistency together.
James came off the bench for the Lakers on Sunday night, but LA lost to the Chicago Bulls. After the game, head coach Darvin Ham spoke about how this game was just a chance to get James back in with the team, but also noted that there isn’t any room for excuses.
“Tonight, it was really getting Bron back in and back out there,” Ham said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “It was great. And now we just got to, again, everybody gets on the same page, get back in rhythm with one another. Not saying that we were out of rhythm, but just getting back together and just playing. You know, 12:30 game, whatever. You can use excuse after excuse after excuse with Bron just now coming back, whatever. We just got to come out and play basketball as we’ve been. Playing on our toes. And we’ll fix the rest.”
In his 29:32 off the bench, James played fairly well, but he didn’t get the same amount of playing time he normally would. He finished the game with 19 points, eight rebounds, and three assists on 6-of-11 shooting from the field and 0-of-2 shooting from behind the three-point line.
After missing 14-straight games, it’s going to take James a while to get back into the flow of things. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t have much leeway, as the Lakers are currently involved in a tight-knit playoff race in the Western Conference.
Darvin Ham Shows Love to Lonnie Walker IV
In other news, in the Lakers’ recent win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lonnie Walker IV played a huge role off the bench after not earning playing time for a few nights. Ham praised his ability to stay ready during his post-game press conference.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Lonnie Walker,” Ham said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “I said to the team sometimes, and it’s a reality of our business, you get some minutes cut short, or you don’t get to play at all, a lot of times, it’s through no fault of your own. It’s just circumstantial. And he’s the definition of what a pro is supposed to do at this level in terms of keeping himself ready. Putting that extra time in the gym, individually. Still watching film with the coaches. Still getting his rest. Still getting his proper nutrition. Keeping that great attitude, that great positive attitude that he has. And it showed tonight. He didn’t have to come out and worry about getting ready. He’s been staying ready. And if he doesn’t have that performance, we don’t win this game. It’s as simple as that. So, kudos to him, man, for being a pro’s pro.”
Anthony Davis Praises Lonnie Walker IV
“A true professional,” Davis said of Walker via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. ‘All our guys, if they play or not, play a lot of minutes, start then go to the bench, start, they don’t play, [they have] good energy and good vibes no matter what. Cheering for their teammates. Lonnie goes in after games. If he don’t play, he goes to the gym, gets shots. Constantly staying ready. And I always say, ‘If y stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.’ So, he’s been locked in on his game when his number is called, and it was called tonight. And he stepped up and played well.”