The Los Angeles Lakers have taken a surprising 2-1 series lead in their first round playoff matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies as the No. 7 seed. But for all the talk of having LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the star of the show has arguably been Rui Hachimura who is appearing in the postseason for only the second time in his career. Hachimura has been the Lakers best player off the bench and arguably their third best player this series. At a practice session in between Games 3 and 4, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham bestowed a heap of praise on Hachimura and how he prepares himself before every game.
Darvin Ham on today’s #Lakers practice and Rui Hachimura’s play through the first three games. pic.twitter.com/fPJCmyOX6Y
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) April 24, 2023
“Just his preparation, he’s putting in a lot of work with Phil Handy and the rest of the coaches. Me, myself, I told him just think free, don’t bog yourself down with what you’re supposed to do and what you’re doing wrong, just go out ready to compete,” Darvin Ham said. “Be assertive, be aggressive, have fun, attack all facets of the game on both sides of the ball.”
Rui Hachimura was the star of the Lakers upset win in Game 1 finishing with a team-high 29 points in only 20 minutes of play. Near the end of the regular season, Hachimura was seemingly out of the rotation but Ham’s decision to re-insert him has paid dividends. In the Lakers Game 3 win, he finished with 16 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.
Through the first three games of this series, Hachimura is averaging 21.7 points per game and 5.3 rebounds on shooting splits of 66.7 percent from the field, 75 percent from the three-point line and 80 percent from the free-throw line.
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