Lakers at Bulls Preview: Lakers look to get their revenge
Game 76 is on the horizon for the Lakers as they travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls for the 2nd straight game. The Lakers head on the road for a 5-game road trip, their final road trip of the season.
The Bulls host Los Angeles this time around after defeating them on the road 118-108, where Zach LaVine had a game-high 32 points, and DeMar DeRozan also tacked on 17 points.
This was also the first time former Laker Patrick Beverley got to take on his former team, and he scored 10 points in a starting role.
The Lakers enter Wednesday with a 37-38 record which is good enough for the 9th spot in the Western Conference standings. They sit a game and a half behind Minnesota in the 6th spot for a guaranteed spot in the playoffs.
If all goes to plan, this will be LeBron James’ 2nd game after returning from a torn foot tendon. In his first game, he put up 19 points and had eight rebounds off the bench. Look for James to be back in the starting lineup after a two-day rest, and Troy Brown Jr will head back to a bench role. James is currently listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game.
After the team’s last game, a huge topic of conversation was the way Darvin Ham handled his in-game rotations. Rui Hachimura logged 0 minutes and looked to have completely fallen out of the rotation for the time being. This is a surprising move by Ham, as reports have said that the Lakers are interested in bringing Hachimura back on a team-friendly deal when he hits free agency in the offseason.
After Sunday’s loss against Chicago, Darvin Ham said, “I mean there's not enough minutes for everyone," Ham explained. "You know, Lonnie's [been] going through that the last several games. When you have a lot of good players, through no fault of their own, someone's going to be left out of the rotation."
Hachimura has been a key part of the rotation since he was acquired from Washington just before the trade deadline.
Austin Reaves has been a huge boost to the team this season and has provided a much-needed spark to the starting lineup as the starting shooting guard. Since entering the starting unit, he is averaging 16.3 points per game and nine assists. The rotation may also be getting back more reinforcements to begin the road trip, as D’Angelo Russell is probable to play against the Bulls after sitting out the last two games with a sore right hip.
The season is coming to a close, but the Western Conference is so jam-packed that anything can happen. There is a 3.5-game difference between the 11th and 4th-place teams. These next two weeks are going to be a roller coaster for Lakers fans, but all things look to be on the upward trend as James and Russell look to be returning for the stretch run.
7 games left… pic.twitter.com/Z3pgvoBpiM— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) March 26, 2023