(CTN News) – Over the past two games, the Los Angeles Lakers have been experimenting with a different starting lineup, with LeBron James taking on the role of point guard.
This change seemed promising after a remarkable offensive performance, scoring 129 points and securing a victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have an impressive record of 18-9. It led to speculation that this lineup adjustment could be a long-term solution for the struggling Lakers offense.
However, on Christmas Day, the Lakers faced the Celtics and encountered difficulties on the offensive end. They fell behind by as much as 18 points in the first quarter alone.
This raises doubts about whether LeBron James’s playing as the point guard contributed to these issues or if it was more due to the lack of shooting from the starting five. None of Cam Reddish, Jarred Vanderbilt, or Anthony Davis are considered to be even average shooters, which may have impacted the team’s performance.
Darvin Ham’s perspective on LeBron James playing as a point guard highlights the potential benefits it brings to the team’s playmaking, ball movement, and security.
However, there are alternative options to consider, such as D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves, who could eventually take on the role.
Russell has already been the team’s starting point guard since the 2023 trade deadline, while Reaves has been fulfilling the role effectively from the bench.
When comparing LeBron James to Reaves and Russell,
It becomes evident that James excels in providing rim pressure and possesses superior passing vision. Additionally, his chemistry with Anthony Davis is notably stronger.
Nevertheless, lineups with LeBron James as the primary ball-handler often result in him being the sole playmaker on the court, which is not ideal for any team.
It is generally more advantageous to have multiple ball-handlers, as it allows for diverse plays and actions to be executed by different players. This approach also forces the defense to respect the abilities of multiple players with the ball.
Considering these factors, I believe that starting James and Reaves together in the backcourt would be the optimal choice.
This arrangement would ensure the presence of two capable ball-handlers, playmakers, and creators on the court, complemented by Anthony Davis. Consequently, it should lead to a highly effective half-court offense.