4 Lakers Who Need More Playing Time for a Championship Run

The Lakers need to go on a run in the final stretch of the season. Coach Darvin Ham needs to play these four players more to do so.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers are entering a crucial final stretch of the season after the All-Star break. Sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference with a 30-26 record, the Lakers need to go on a streak in the final 28 games of the season to secure a playoff spot, followed by a deep postseason run.

Considering how small the championship window is with the 39-year-old LeBron James and injury-prone Anthony Davis, the Lakers need to make the most out of this current season.

In order to get back to the Conference Finals and hopefully more this season, Los Angeles needs to rely on the following players more.

1. Rui Hachimura

Hachimura is one of the few two-way players on the Lakers roster with size. He can shoot, score, and defend reasonably well. His impact on the team has been directly correlated with the Lakers' success.

In wins, Hachimura averages 13.3 points on 56.6/44.7/78.8 shooting splits in 25.5 minutes. In losses, his production falls to 10.3 points on 45.2/33.3/65 shooting splits in 22.7 minutes. Basically, when the Gonzaga product plays more and better, the Lakers win. When he struggles from the field, the Lakers lose.

So far in February Hachimura has been in the starting lineup six games out of the seven. It's not a coincidence that the Lakers went on a winning streak around the same time. When he is starting, Hachimura has the confidence and hits more shots, which the Lakers desperately need. He is averaging 31.4 minutes per game in February and that should continue the rest of the way.