On Friday, when the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond played their first game together. In the 17 minutes they shared the floor, the Lakers posted a net rating of -8.1, which was the second-highest net rating of any three-man lineup that played at least 10 minutes together on Friday but obviously not great by any other standard.
Drummond only has nine more games to try and figure out how to play with James and Davis before the postseason starts and he’s confident that he will in large part due to his faith in James’ leadership on and off the court.
“He makes the game very easy,” Drummond said of James. “I feel like he sees everything like a quarterback. So having him out there is a really fun, you know it’s my first game being on the same side as him. It was definitely a great learning experience for me, and I’m looking forward to building better things.”
A great example of James’ leadership and understanding of the game came late in the fourth quarter, when the Lakers were in desperate need of a big basket.
“I messed up on one screen,” Drummond said. “I kind of tapped and got out too quick and he pulled me aside and said ‘you know I like when you hold the screen, so I did it the next play and he knocked down a big three for us, so it’s just communication.”
The Lakers ended up losing the game 110-106, but it was a valuable learning experience for Drummond, who believes experience will be the best teacher for him over these next nine games.
“I don’t think anything is going to take much work,” Drummond said. “I think it’s just playing. Playing together and being on the same court and just having that time to really get to gel and be on the same court at the same time and just figure each other out.”
Drummond has taken the same approach in the handful of games he’s played with Davis and while he feels he’s had success with it, he thinks that having a healthy roster will accelerate his learning process.
“I mean we’ve showed glimpses of how good we can be defensively, it’s just getting that time on the floor,” Drummond said. “I think once we have a steady lineup and rotation I think offensively and defensively, we’ll figure it out.”
The Lakers are quickly running out of time to do the things they want to — build chemistry, get into a good rhythm and, most importantly, get healthy — but if Drummond’s confidence is indicative of how the team feels as a whole, it might not take much time.
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