Sitting at 12-12, the Los Angeles Lakers need to make certain adjustments to their current lineup to let 3 of their unsung heroes shine on the court.
While the Lakers are always in the conversation for noteworthy trade talks, the reality is that L.A. has already picked up several players in recent years that make most trades untenable.
It’s true that the 12-12 Lakers need a jolt if they plan on making playoffs this season, especially if they’re going to challenge at the top in a conference currently headed by two 20-4 teams.
But the Lakers do have depth on their roster, and if they play the right players in the right moments, could see a payoff for the playoffs.
Here are three Lakers players who could lead a Lakers turnaround as unsung heroes of the 2021-22 team.
Lakers: 3 unsung heroes who will help turnaround after early-season struggles
3. Malik Monk
Malik Monk hasn’t quite lived up to being the No. 11 pick since coming into the league, but he still could be beneficial as an inexpensive pickup to plug in and spark up the Lakers offense.
Averaging 24 minutes per game, Monk has a 108.3 offensive rating, getting minutes in all 24 Lakers games thus far. That makes Monk more productive than the overall Lakers offensive, which has a 106.9 that ranks 22nd in the league.
Monk’s defensive rating is 103.7, compared to the Lakers’ overall defensive rating of 108.6. What this means is that the Lakers lineups have been decent defensively — better than their overall season average — when Monk has been on the floor.
In his last five games, Monk has averaged 16.2 points per game and 10.3 points per game over the season. The 23-year-old is clearly improving as he advances on the big LA stage, and the Lakers would be wise to incorporate more of him on the court.