The Los Angeles Lakers will move forward with Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Taurean Prince starting next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis moving forward, coach Darvin Ham confirmed Monday.

“Just wanted to put as much skill and shot-making on the floor around our two captains,” Ham told reporters after the Lakers’ 112-105 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. “And those five, they’ve been pretty much our most consistent guys throughout the season thus far. So just put them together.

“For the foreseeable future, that’s going to be our lineup, barring any type of injury.”

The Lakers have shuffled through several starting lineups and rotations throughout this season, with their only consistent mainstays being James, Davis and Prince. Russell and Reaves have shuffled in and out of the starting lineup, while Rui Hachimura, Max Christie and Jarred Vanderbilt have also gotten stretches as a starter.

Ham moving to the lineup he used Monday was an indication he felt he was right about this roster all along. Reaves, Russell, Prince, James and Davis were the Lakers’ starting five when they opened the regular season.

That did not last long as the Lakers struggled their way through the early part of the season, leading Ham to spend much of the next few months tinkering to little avail. The Lakers are just 20-21, good for just 10th place in the Western Conference. It’s been a near-constant disappointment in Los Angeles as the Lakers believed they built a winner after reaching the conference finals last season.

Lakers players expressed confidence in the latest starting lineup after beating the Thunder.

“Offensively we want to share the ball, not turn the ball over, AD’s always our focus offensively, getting him going early and often,” James said. “And then defensively, we have to be on a string to help one another. And we have to help AD rebound. And when we do that, you know, we can be a pretty good five-man lineup.”

The Lakers are expected to be active in trade talks ahead of next month’s deadline, so Ham may be using this lineup as a last-ditch effort to turn things around. If the Lakers aren’t firmly in the playoffs in a few weeks, odds are some players—even ones currently in the starting lineup—could find themselves elsewhere.


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