Lakers charge Rui Hachimura $700.6 million under suspicion for breaking the…See more…

Lakers charge Rui Hachimura $700.6 million under suspicion for breaking the…See more…



Rui Hachimura on Lakers’ Struggles: ‘We Just Don’t Have Enough Experience















  • Rui Hachimura points to lack of experience as the key difference between the Lakers and the Nuggets.
  •  Despite having LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Hachimura believes experience is still crucial.
  •  LeBron’s construction of past teams may support Hachimura’s assertion.

Rui Hachimura, the do-it-all, athletic small forward spoke on why he believes his Los Angeles Lakers are facing a three-to-nothing deficit against the reigning champion Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

Hachimura was acquired via trade in late January 2023 from the Washington Wizards, and he was brought in to contribute to a Lakers roster featuring two NBA 75th Anniversary Team members LeBron James and Anthony Davis, that made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals last season. Of course, that Lakers team would end up being swept by this same Nuggets roster.

In a way, this contributes to why Hachimura believes that the Nuggets have an innate advantage over the Lakers. When Hachimura spoke to the media this past Sunday, Lakers reporter Michael Corvo shared a segment of Hachimura’s media availability where the former Wizard voiced his opinions on why the Nuggets are now close to their second sweep of the Lakers in back-to-back playoff matchups.

“Clearly we have to do something better. Of course, we’ve been trying. We’ve been watching a lot of film…We’re adjusting different coverage and all that. But, as a team, in my opinion, we just don’t have enough experience…They’ve been together for like five years.”

In their second playoff series in two years, Hachimura is starting to see why the Nuggets have become the juggernaut they are today. Denver, if anything, knows how to play together.

Two-time league MVP Nikola Jokić knows when to put his head down and score, and also when to find a cutting teammate like Aaron Gordon. The team’s point guard, Jamal Murray’s job is to mainly put his head down and score, but he also recognizes when Jokić is the go-to bucket-getter in certain instances, finding Jokić and others in their spots when necessary.

Gordon, as mentioned previously, may know his specific role better than anybody else on the team knows theirs, as his main job is to play great defense on opposing big-men, and stand in the dunker’s spot for alley-oops and drop-off passes from his team’s play-makers. Other times, the team is cognizant of when they should hit their sharp-shooting forward Michael Porter Jr. for an open shot, or to let him create his own offense.

Other than the main stars of the championship core, the Nuggets also make it a mission find their three-and-D shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for some attacks from distance, and their incredible talent off the bench, like Christian Braun and Peyton Watson for an added energy boost from the second unit. This connectivity is something Hachimura evidently believes is missing from this iteration of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Are ‘LeBron-Led Team’ Problems Running Rampant in Los Angeles?

Examining why the 2024 Lakers aren’t as ‘connected’ as other contending franchises

Los Angeles Lakers forwards LeBron James and Rui Hachimura in Game 3 of the 2023 Western Conference Finals.






One of the biggest talking points of any team featuring the legendary LeBron James revolves around how he may or may not have a hand in his team’s construction. James, since his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-2018, gained the reputation of being a player that goes to his front office to specifically tell them what kinds of moves to make in order to bolster the roster.



This usually involves trading many a first-round pick and young assets to acquire more established talent and, in effect, damage the future of any roster he is a part of. But, since he is arguably the greatest player to ever play the game, teams are willing to leverage their future a bit to take advantage of the time that LeBron James spends on their roster.



This operation has carried into James’ tenure with the Lakers, as one of the first moves made after James’ first completed season was trading young players Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, along with a draft pick that would turn into Zion Williamson to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis. Since that move was made in 2019, the Lakers have had no choice but to fill out the rest of their roster with veteran players that earn either minimum or close-to-minimum contracts. This is where Hachimura’s point comes full circle.


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