The Los Angeles Lakers' 2023-24 season has been a rollercoaster that has had far more downswings than upswings. But as it stands right now, the Lakers feel like they are in an upswing that could lead to the team finally getting some momentum as the playoffs get closer and closer.
Los Angeles has won four of its last five games and is feeling great after signing Spencer Dinwiddie following the trade deadline. It may not have been a Dejounte Murray trade, but at least the Lakers improved the roster somewhat and didn't have to give up any assets in return.
While it is always a good thing to add more depth (even when a player is volatile like Dinwiddie is), there actually is a negative that might be coming out of the Dinwiddie signing. By bringing in Dinwiddie, the Lakers are giving head coach Darvin Ham more ammunition to experiment with the team's lineups and rotation.
And of course, in classic Ham fashion, he is going to do the one thing with Dinwiddie on the team that no fan wanted him to do: run three-guard lineups.
Darvin Ham is foolish for running three-guard Lakers lineups
This is something that Darvin Ham fell in love with last season with the Lakers and despite all of his questionable decisions this year, it is not something the Lakers have deployed. That is mostly because the team did not have the resources to do it. With Dinwiddie in town, they do, and Ham is wasting no time to take the opportunity.
What makes this so frustrating is the fact that it simply didn't work last season for the Lakers. Ham tried so many different iterations of the three-guard lineup (even trying a five-guard lineup once) last season and it never lasted. Yet here he is, going back to the well because he has a shiny new toy.
While Dinwiddie could end up being great in Los Angeles, Ham is really overestimating him if he truly expects the veteran point guard to be in the closing lineup. Dinwiddie is bad defensively and has been very inefficient on offense this season.
The trio of Dinwiddie, Austin Reaves and D'Angelo Russell is just begging to get scored on. In that lineup, there are three guys in the backcourt that teams can legitimately hunt, not to mention that the Lakers would be sacrificing so much size.
Talk about a way to put unnecessary stress on LeBron James (who should be coasting on defense in the regular season) and Anthony Davis. Suddenly, those two become the only somewhat reliable defenders in this potential lineup (and that might be a stretch with LeBron).
It really is not that hard for Ham to figure out. Keep starting Rui Hachimura and give him the playing time he deserves. Los Angeles is 19-11 when Hachimura gets 19+ minutes and is 9-15 when he doesn't.
It isn't rocket science. Play the players who deserve minutes, and don't experiment with quirky lineups that the entire fanbase knows won't work.
LA is in need of a winning streak, and you can join its efforts tonight with a chance to win big backing the Lakers against the Pistons at FanDuel. Just sign up, deposit $10+ and then bet $5+ on LA to beat Detroit. If your wager wins, you'll get $150 in bonus bets! Sign up with FanDuel with this Lake Show Life link today.