The Los Angeles Lakers are not a good basketball team without LeBron James. This is fairly obvious, and we knew the ultimate test heading into this season would be if James suffered an injury that kept him out for a significant period of time.
Of course we have been able to test this theory firsthand this season as LeBron has not played since a 127-101 win over the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day. The Lakers have lost seven of their last 10 games, and so head coach Luke Walton has decided to switch up his starting lineup.
McGee started the season strong but has seen a downward trend in subsequent months. McGee’s rebounding numbers and have been disappointing as of late, but most shocking has been his field goal percentage. He’s been hovering in the low-60s all season long but in the month of January McGee has dipped to just 47.4 percent.
Hart has been relatively steady, although January has been hard on him from beyond the 3-point line. Typically a reliable outside shooter, Hart has shot just 17.5 percent from downtown since the start of the new year.
No doubt Walton is hoping that a change in the lineup will help alter some of the scouting opponents have against the Lakers, as well as revitalize both McGee and Hart individually.