Since Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo have returned to the Los Angeles Lakers from suspension, Josh Hart has returned to a bench role. This comes with a different approach, and Hart seems to understand what he has to do to make it work.
After the Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday night, Hart was asked about the differences between starting and coming off the bench (via Spectrum SportsNet):
“It’s a little different because I’m coming off the bench at the four, so that’s different. From backup shooting guard to backup power forward, so the role is a little bit different but I had the opportunity, I showed them what I could do helping this team win in whatever role I’m in to the best of my ability.”
This is the kind of approach the Lakers need across their roster. Hart continued about the various roles he has to play.
“It’s hard enough, I’m out there wrasslin with them bigs and now the guards are swooping in and stealing all the rebounds, so I’m trying I guess.”
Interestingly enough, Hart needs to learn that he can’t “wrassle” on the perimeter the way he likes to inside defensively. A little too often, Hart bodies guys up when he’s guarding the ball outside, which leads to direct penetration. Given the backup center situation to this point, that’s made for quite the defensive predicament.
Fortunately, now that the Lakers seem ready to make quite the addition to that center rotation, those mistakes Hart has been making might be a little less damning defensively.
Most importantly, though, is that it’s cool to see Hart willing to take on any role he might have to so long as it helps the team. If the Lakers are going to be successful this season, more guys are going to have to be as willing to sacrifice for the sake of the team.