Lakers Rumors: LeBron James, Anthony Davis Consulted with Ham on Russell Benching

In late December, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham switched to a starting lineup of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Jarred Vanderbilt, Cam Reddish, 

and Taurean Prince, a more defensively versatile group that allows James to run the point on offense while putting D'Angelo Russell to the bench.

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the lineup shift "was not a unilateral decision—Ham consulted with James and Davis on the concept."

The Lakes are 3-5 since the change. Russell has appeared in five of those games, missing three due to a tailbone contusion, and has an average of 11.4 points and 5.4 assists.

Meanwhile, James, Davis, Vanderbilt, Reddish, and Prince are outscoring opponents by 11.3 points per 100 possessions across four games and 29 minutes together, according to NBA.com.

Given that James frequently serves as the de facto point guard regardless of who he shares the court with, moving the defensively challenged Russell to the bench

to lead the second unit made sense, especially with Gabe Vincent out of commission following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

Injury has been a key topic throughout the season. Vanderbilt lost 20 games due to left heel bursitis; Rui Hachimura missed a significant portion of the season due to numerous injuries;

All the while, James and Davis have played 34 and 35 games, respectively, and have both performed well (averaging 25.2 points per game this season).

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