The lack of dependable role players is one of the most significant issues for the Los Angeles Lakers since the team won it all in the NBA bubble in 2020.
With superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James dealing with injuries constantly over the past few years, the team hasn’t had the players that could shoulder the load and help the team win regardless of the status of their two-headed monster.
Fortunately, the moves the Lakers made ahead of the NBA trade deadline in February turned out to be game-changing for the storied NBA franchise, and that was never more evident than in Game 1 of their playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura put on a show against the Grizzlies on Sunday, and Joy Taylor of Fox Sports believes these role players stepping up could be critical to the team’s success in the postseason.
.@JoyTaylorTalks reacts to the Lakers' Game 1 win. pic.twitter.com/B2ItiWy0MT
— Speak (@SpeakOnFS1) April 17, 2023
At this point, there’s no doubting the talent on this new-look Lakers squad, as the team has the pieces in place to contend in the Western Conference, but it’s all about consistency, and that will be the true test moving forward for Los Angeles.
If the Lakers can get role players like Reaves, Hachimura and D’Angelo Russell to play consistently well in this series, Darvin Ham’s squad could be destined for a deep run in the playoffs.
The Grizzlies already have their backs against the wall in this series, being one game down and potentially without superstar guard Ja Morant for the duration of the first round, which means if the Lakers can keep it together, a trip to the second round may be inevitable.NEXT: Nick Wright Has A Strong Statement After Lakers Game 1 Win