Keys to Lakers 5 Game Winning Streak

The Lakers have been on a tear recently, winning five consecutive games despite being without All-Star Anthony Davis and recently key role players such as Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves. As the Lakers continue to push closer into the playoff and play in race, here are some keys to their most recent success:

“Next Man Up”- Especially considering the injuries the Lakers have faced in this recent stretch, the “next man up” mentality has been in full effect. This specifically applied to the Lakers' win over the Heat on January 4, wherein LeBron’s absence, Dennis Schröder, had a season-high 32 to lead the Lakers to victory. That being said, no player has exemplified this mentality more than Thomas Bryant, who has exceptionally filled in for Anthony Davis, establishing himself as a dominant interior presence with a soft touch from midrange.

Dominating the interior- While the story of the Lakers since opening night has been the lack of shooting on the roster, Darvin Ham and his coaching staff have started to tap into the strengths of the team by encouraging production in the paint. This was on full display in the most recent win over Sacramento, where the Lakers had 70 total points in the paint, with Ham saying, “That’s who we are” postgame. Continuing to attack the paint is key for the Lakers as it allows them to mask their inconsistent outside shooting and put more pressure on the opponent.

Going punch for punch- One of the biggest flaws of the Lakers so far this year has been their tendency to give up large runs to the opponent and be unable to counter them. This has taken place notably in the third quarter on Christmas Day against the Mavericks and at the end of the game against the Pacers on November 28. However, recently, sticking to the game plan and making timely baskets have caused the Lakers to avoid this problem. The most notable example of this came at the end of the third quarter in a win against the Hawks, where Max Christie and Kendrick Nunn ended a Hawks run with back-to-back threes to extend the Laker lead.

The NBA is often viewed as a game of runs, and continuing to counter runs by the opposition will be key to the Lakers' success going forward.

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