Pacific Notes: LeBron, Barnes, Holmes, Klay, Bridges

The Lakers are still contemplating how often to use LeBron James at center this season, Harrison Faigen of SB Nation’s Silver Screen and Roll writes. Los Angeles has seen success with James at the five, albeit in a small sample size, but the team doesn’t want to overextend its 36-year-old superstar.

“It’s something we talk about,” head coach Frank Vogel said. “It’s something we consider. But you have to measure what that does for his workload… and whether that’s something that we just want to use in small doses when needed, or if it’s going to become part of us on a regular basis.”

James has played positions 1-through-4 at different points of his career. Having the ability to also play the five is unprecedented, but it’s something he may need to do when Anthony Davis sits this season. Having lost to the Kings on Saturday, the Lakers dropped to seventh in the Western Conference (10-11).

Here are some other notes from the Pacific:

  • Kings forward Harrison Barnes and center Richaun Holmes both missed Saturday’s game, but interim coach Alvin Gentry is confident the duo won’t be sidelined for long, James Ham of ESPN 1320 tweets. Barnes is day-to-day with a sprained right foot, while Holmes is dealing with a non-COVID-related illness.
  • Klay Thompson had a vulnerable moment after the Warriors‘ victory over Portland on Friday, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic writes. Thompson was seen sitting on the bench once the game ended for 35 minutes, clearly wanting to be part of the team’s success. He last played in an NBA game during the 2019 Finals, but he appears to be moving closer toward a return. He suffered torn ACL in 2019 and tore his Achilles in 2020 during a pick-up game.
  • Suns forward Mikal Bridges is making an early case for Defensive Player of the Year, Evan Sidery of opines. Bridges has provided a serious defensive boost for Phoenix, who ranks second in the Western Conference at 16-3. The team has also won 15 straight games.
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