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Has Darvin Ham got Davis, LeBron, Lakers leaning into small ball?

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 9: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Golden State Warriors on October 9, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Two things can be true: The Lakers’ best lineups are with Anthony Davis at center, and Anthony Davis doesn’t want to play a lot of center.

New Lakers coach Darvin Ham said he would roll out something closer to the team’s regular season rotations in the last couple of Lakers’ preseason games. On Wednesday night his starting five had Davis at the five, LeBron James at the four, plus three guard/wings (Patrick Beverley, Russell Westbrook, Lonnie Walker IV). While it’s likely someone such as Kendrick Nunn will replace Walker in that five, that could be the starting lineup next Tuesday when the Lakers open the season against Golden State.

How does Davis feel about that? He answered in the third person — which is brilliant — but said he would buy-in for the team.

A small-ball lineup with LeBron at the four and Davis at the five puts pressure on that pair to rebound, something they did Wednesday against a tall Timberwolves team — Davis had 13 boards and LeBron 11.

Ham has got all the Lakers buying into the “I’ll do whatever is best for the team” mindset so far. His more forceful personality than his predecessor (Frank Vogel) has got the Lakers players buying in. For now. The real test comes when adversity hits, will these players continue to pull the rope in the same direction?

For now at least, expect to see more Davis at the five for the Lakers. It is their best lineup.