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It is amazing to see Lebron James continue to defy Father Time every single night.   In the 21st year of his glorious career,  Lebron James leads the team in scoring with 25.4 points per game.  He also averages 7.4 rebounds per game and 7.4 assists per game.    

Yet, the Los Angeles Lakers are 9th in the West with a 17-17 record.   The Lakers have lost seven out of their last ten games.  In a perfect scenario, Lebron James wouldn’t need to be doing this much work for a team that’s .500. 

In spite of the fact that the Lakers were the inaugural winners of the NBA In-Season Tournament, it is becoming clear that Darvin Ham’s seat is getting hotter and hotter by the day.     

Darvin Ham has tinkered with the lineup in recent weeks.   Struggling PG D’Angelo Russell was benched after a very subpar series of games in December.    After averaging 17.5 ppg and 17.6 ppg in October and November, Russell’s average for the month of December dipped to 10.2 ppg.   His field goal percentage dropped from 50% in November to 41% in December.  

Darvin Ham’s latest lineup change has Lebron James as the official starting PG for the Lakers.   I find this to be quite unnecessary.    The Lakers would be better off starting Austin Reaves at PG and leaving Lebron at his natural position.   I do not see how this move is going to be successful in the long run for the Lakers.

Personally,  I don’t understand why Austin Reaves doesn’t get more playing time in general.   Lebron James has made it very clear that he loves playing with Austin Reaves due to his play-making on the court.   An increase in Reaves’s playing time could go a long way in establishing him as the undisputed third option for the LA Lakers.   

Ham had moved Reaves out of the starting lineup earlier this season because he had a vision that Austin Reaves could be a 6th man as impactful as Manu Ginobili was with the Spurs.  That vision has not come to pass.   To make matters worse, there are now reports of tensions between Austin Reaves and Darvin Ham. 

The Lakers may want to consider acquiring Dejounte Murray or Demar Derozan at the trade deadline.  These two players will serve to take a lot of pressure off of Lebron James.

As it stands, the main options for the LA Lakers are still Lebron James and Anthony Davis.   The Lakers don’t have a true 3rd option.    Until they fix that, they have put Lebron James in a position in which he is having to do too much in order for the Lakers to win.

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