The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Houston Rockets on Sunday night in a game where LeBron James turned back the clock and turned in a vintage performance. LeBron led the purple and gold to a one-point victory over Houston and put Dillon Brooks back in his place in the process.
While it was very entertaining to watch LeBron take over the game, it is a bad look that the Lakers need that kind of performance from him to squeak by the Rockets in November. After all, this Lakers team was touted as one of the deepest teams in franchise history by fans before the season.
Every win counts the same in the record book but some games can be more revealing than others. Sunday’s game was certainly revealing, as it brought a concerning reality to light for Lakers fans.
Lakers’ win over Rockets highlighted the team’s awful center situation
Among other takeaways, the biggest concern that Darvin Ham should have after beating the Rockets is his situation at the center position. Things started off fine and dandy to start the season but the position has only gotten worse with time.
Christian Wood and Jaxson Hayes simply have not been good as a collective duo so far this season. On Sunday specifically, the two big men combined for zero points on 0-4 shooting. They hauled in four rebounds in 23 combined minutes of play.
Hayes is hardly even getting playing time for the Lakers, which was extremely predictable heading into the season. Fans hyped up Hayes as an impact signing that the Lakers could unlock but in reality, he is a raw big man that is not ready for a bigger role on a contending team.
Wood was extremely hyped when he was signed and all of the holes in his game are coming to light. After a strong start, Wood’s three-point shooting has cratered, showcasing the offensive inefficiencies that he has displayed in previous stops along his career. Wood’s three-point percentage has dropped all the way to 30.6%.
It would be fine if Wood provided rim protection, rebounding, or solid defense but he does not do any of those things. Wood has been the same poor defender that he was before coming to Los Angeles and his rebounding has left more to be desired.
As it stands at the time of writing this, Wood has a -5.5 Box Plus/Minus while Hayes has a -6.3 Box Plus/Minus. Those are the two worst BPMs on the entire team among the regular rotation players. That is how bad it has been for those two.
It has become clear that the Lakers’ revolving door at the center position will probably continue and there will be tweaks at the trade deadline. There is no way the team can continue putting so much on Anthony Davis’ plate without adding some kind of help.