It’s been an uneven start to the regular season for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team sits at 7-5 with some ugly losses but had arguably their best win of the season against the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Los Angeles pulled off the 120-117 win in overtime and the game featured impressive performances from Malik Monk, Avery Bradley, Carmelo Anthony and Wayne Ellington.
It’s difficult to see the value that Bazemore is bringing the team right now. He’s not doing much on offense and his defensive play certainly isn’t making up for it.
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Who Could Replace Bazemore in the Starting Lineup?
It’s still early in the season and head coach Frank Vogel continues to tinker with the starting lineup. However, Bazemore has been one of the few constants. That may need to change as other players start to improve their play. The Lakers lack great defensive options to insert in the starting lineup at guard right now but there are some strong offensive options.
Monk can be inconsistent but he’s showing some big-time flashes. He scored 27 points against the Heat. He’s a skilled scorer and is making 38% of his threes. He’d be a solid option to replace Bazemore in the starting lineup. Ellington would also make sense. He just recently made his debut with the Lakers as he dealt with an injury during the early parts of the season. In four games, he’s averaging 42.9% from three.
If Vogel wants more defense from his starting shooting guard, Bradley is the best option. He’s been named to an NBA All-Defensive Team twice in his career. Bazemore isn’t cutting it so Vogel should try out any of the three previously mentioned guards as starters.
Austin Reaves out for 2 Weeks
Another interesting option to replace Bazemore as a starter would’ve been rookie guard Austin Reaves. However, he’s going to miss some time with an injury. According to Mike Trudell, Reaves is out for at least two weeks with a strained left hamstring.
It certainly would be a bold idea to put Reaves in the starting lineup. He came into the NBA as an undrafted rookie in the offseason so he’s still doesn’t have much experience. That said, he’s done nothing but impress the Lakers since joining the team. As Trudell noted, Reaves ranks second on the team in net rating with an 8.2. Plus, he’s shown a lot of upside on the defensive side of the court. Perhaps Vogel gets creative and tries Reaves out in the starting lineup when he returns from injury.