Jalen Hood-Schifino sends message to Lakers, Darvin Ham with G League explosion

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers selected Jalen Hood-Schifino with the 17th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and less than one year later it looks like the team made a mistake. With guys like Brandin Podziemski and Jamie Jacquez Jr. playing well, Hood-Schifino's lack of contributions looks even worse.

While those players have proven that they were more NBA-ready, part of Hood-Schifino's lack of production is tied to the team he is on. The Lakers started the season with a deeper roster than both the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat, which made it harder for JHS to carve out a role in the rotation.

However, even amidst all of the injuries, JHS hasn't really gotten a chance to get a semblance of playing time. The former Indiana guard has played in 19 games this season and has played 10 or more minutes just three times. Almost all of his playing time has come in garbage time.

Hood-Schifino has definitely looked the part of a rookie while he has been out there but there is still a lot of potential in his game. The 20-year-old is proving that in his G League assignments as he has notably been the best player on the court for the South Bay Lakers. On Thursday, Hood-Schifino had arguably this most impressive game yet as he dropped 38 points on the Austin Spurs.

Jalen Hood-Schifino sends loud message to Darvin Ham and the Lakers

Hood-Schifino finished the game with 38 points, on 10-17 shooting while making five shots from beyond the arc. It was a dominant showing for the rookie guard who is proven that he is above the level of those in the G League.

Entering Thursday's contest, Hood-Schifino was averaging 20.1 points, 5.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game with the South Bay Lakers. His range has been on full display as he was shooting 41.3% from beyond the arc in 4.6 attempts per game. Those are real numbers.

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently in a push for a playoff spot so they do not have the luxury to let guys sink at the NBA level. That being said, guys like Skylar Mays have gotten playing time on two-way deals when JHS could have been playing. Cam Reddish just returned to the rotation and played a prominent role, even though he has not been very good this season.

Heck, even Spencer Dinwiddie has been bad in his short Lakers career. That is not to say that the Lakers should give up on Dinwiddie already but the team has far more patience for other underperformers than it does for a rookie who is only getting better.

You never know who might step up in a playoff series, just look at Caleb Martin a year ago. With how hot he is playing right now, JHS could be someone who steps up and has a big moment in a playoff game that swings an entire series. But the Lakers will never even know if he has that in him if he continues to get DNPs at the NBA level.

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