Lakers Media Day: The Role of Russell Westbrook, Doran Darvin Hamm, and Finding Fire

There is always a normal level of noise and excitement circulating in Lakers Before their annual celebrations of Media Day.

It’s the starting line for a new season as we get our first glimpse of a group of new faces wearing their purple and gold T-shirts for the first time, familiar faces beginning the remnants of a summer tan, and with everyone huddled together in the same spot, hope once again springs to eternity.

But this year’s event stirs up other emotions. There is a great degree of curiosity, embarrassment, and unpredictability due to team work and – in one particular case – inaction, with the list being inappropriate.

Hopefully Monday will be the place for gamers, Darvin Hamm and Rob Pelinka to provide answers to burning questions that have been shared by so many of their fan base all summer.

Among these inquiries are three of particular interest: the state and expectations of the singular name, the management of the various configurations of the depth chart, and whether the team can finally find its way inside the space.

What is the role of Russell Westbrook?

When Russell Westbrook takes his first step into the Lakers headquarters, he won’t just be the elephant in the room, he’ll be consuming oxygen, four walls, and the entire room.

After a tumultuous first season with the Lakers, Westbrook’s fate with the team looked almost sealed before summer came. But with no active movement yet on the commercial front due to the team’s persistence Part resistance with first-round picks in a potential swapthe future of the polarized point guard will likely continue in Los Angeles to start the year.

Aside from the rampant rumors and hard feelings that may still exist, it would be in everyone’s best interest to have more clarity on the situation from day one. In particular, a better idea when it comes to elements on the field such as how Hamm and his crew plan to improve Westbrook’s game, hide his weaknesses and make him a better fit into the team’s star duo, the latter arguably the most important.

according to cleaning the glasses, the trio of Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis said the team had high hopes of posting a -3.0 net rating at their 818 (non-trash time) property together last season. Individually, the team had a net rating of 7.3-when Westbrook played without the two superstars, as they struggled notably to adapt to their counterpart. Lowest usage rate Since 2009.

The offensive bout was futile as Westbrook’s unwillingness to act as an off-ball weapon (cutter, sieve, etc) was as detrimental as his inability to make space on the ground for James and Davis. In defense, Westbrook struggled to be a reliable cog within Frank Vogel’s scheme, often allowing his man a free path to the trophy.

Given how poor his first year was, and the team’s backcourt suddenly crowded, it was also reported that the likelihood of Westbrook coming off the bench is ‘looking hard. ”

Whatever Hamm and his staff ultimately decide to do with Westbrook’s role can have combustible consequences if not managed properly. The team now has a choice of no You have To play him if he continues to be a net passive on the ground, but this also risks further dividing what is already a potentially sensitive relationship between him and the team.

With no trade imminent likely, how and when Westbrook’s plays will continue to be the story of the season. A first glimpse of how this story is developing will emerge during Media Day.

How does Darvin Hamm plan to manage his rotations and minutes?

Westbrook’s turn of the year isn’t the only question mark surrounding the squad depth chart as the team has a plethora of players and situations to be fighting for for minutes.

The Lakers, as they are currently built, are a team steeped in overlaps and little room to maneuver to provide life jackets in the form of accommodations.

For example, with the acquisitions of Patrick Beverly and Dennis Schroeder and the combined return of Kendrick Noone and Westbrook, there will be many cases where Hamm will face the dilemma of who will play in the backcourt.

And at the risk of allocating enough minutes for everyone, Ham might risk getting too small by playing a group of keepers at the same time. To this point, Beverly – who is listed 6’1 – is seen internally as the team’s defender against ‘high level suites“.

The aforementioned backcourt record congestion doesn’t even factor in where the likes of Austin Reeves, Looney Walker and Troy Brown Jr. fit in with the team’s guards and wing openers. According to the Cleaning the Glass position classification database, Reeves And the Walker They both played more shooting minutes than a junior striker last season.

While the situations themselves are certainly fluid and increasingly outdated in the modern game, the team’s perimeter options also lack the necessary size, variety, and shooting acumen to effectively move the pieces to fill in the gaps.

The boot camp battles will likely help temper the competition and provide a clearer picture of the turn heading into the season, but until then Hamm will have to be creative in creating a game plan that enables the team to compete and make them happier.

Where does the shooting come from?

Despite a much-needed roster change, the Lakers go into next season ready to be limited – or maybe even more – when it comes to peripheral imaging.

Last year, the team did poorly from behind the arc, finishing 24th in 3 percentage points and Twenty in wide open (Defenders at least 6 feet away) Efficiency. Both signs might have looked worse in the end if not for the hot hands of owner Monk and Carmelo Anthony helping to find the averages.

While this new crop of Lakers are undoubtedly more athletic and versatile, they will likely need major leaps in individual proficiency if the team is to hope to see improvements. This must be the case especially given the reported plan of important to integrate Four of one in a crime The Milwaukee Bucks He recently ran during his tenure.

On paper, the odds of the team being able to provide effective distances between ‘one-in’ and their superstars look questionable, as among the new acquisitions, only Troy Brown Jr. has shot above the league average (when cooldown time and litter are removed) in his attempts at 3 points last season.

As further evidence of confidence in the group’s ability, it was recently reported that Rob Pelinka is stillvery active“Trying to get more shooting before the season.

Individually, no scorer or player on the roster possesses this level of spatial appeal. Instead, the team will have to rely on that INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS Across the board and their stars are healthy enough all year round to make easy looks easier.

Hamm’s ability to communicate what his plan is to mitigate these potential spacing issues would be a great first step.

As on any media day, there will be many reasons for optimism and concern.

The Lakers still feel like a team in progress, and until we can see what they actually look like on the field, they will continue to be viewed ostensibly as a small, overlapping set of overlapping, limited skills.

With that said, there’s always a chance that lightning could happen to the bottle. Perhaps this group, and their individual oddities, are coming together thanks to the enthusiastic guidance of a first-time head coach and a star duo trying once again to reclaim their thrones at the top.

Regardless of what was revealed or not revealed on Monday, these questions will likely continue to arise over the course of the season. How the team and the coaching staff can answer them in the end, can determine their fate.

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