Why Wenyen Gabriel Has Been Out Of LA’s Rotation Lately

The big has barely played on this current road trip.

Los Angeles Lakers big man Wenyen Gabriel has been shifted to a fringe role with the club in the wake of Anthony Davis’s return to LA last week.

The 6’9″ power forward/center has been out of the team’s rotation entirely in three of LA’s last four contests (he had his minutes bumped up when Anthony Davis sat out against the Brooklyn Nets). Ahead of LA’s 112-111 comeback win against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham spoke about his thinking in benching Gabriel, per Darvin Ham of The Athletic

“They’re both interesting players,” Ham said of Bryant and Gabriel. “Thomas has gotten a bulk of those minutes at the five and started for us when AD wasn’t available and has just been playing with a really good rhythm. Wenyen hasn’t really done anything wrong to remove himself from the rotation, it’s just a numbers thing and you only have so many minutes to give out. So he’s doing his job staying ready, his number will be called again I’m sure at some point, some time soon, and I expect for him to play like he had been playing at a really high level.” 

“He’s more wiry, probably a little bit quicker, faster and faster and more nimble, and then you have Thomas [who] is more of a bruiser, screener, runner, really good roller,” Ham continued. “They both have really good hands and are able to finish around the rim so it’s a good problem to have. You just feel bad for them because you know one of them is going to suffer minutes-wise and fall out of the rotation a little bit. But at the end of the day, it’s great. Whoever’s number you call between those two, like so many of our other players, you’re gonna gonna get good results for the most part.”

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