Christian Wood’s Determination to Stay Prepared Despite Being Benched by the Lakers

Christian Wood faced challenges this year, transitioning from averaging 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds with the Dallas Mavericks to signing a minimum contract with the Los Angeles Lakers late in free agency. Despite his capabilities, Christian Wood found himself in a situation where the Lakers, with a center position gap, sought his services.

Christian Wood: Rollercoaster Ride in the Lakers’ Rotation

Christian Wood’s first season with the Lakers has been a rollercoaster, with Coach Darvin Ham frequently adjusting his rotation. In December alone, Wood missed three of the seven games, including crucial ones like the In-Season Tournament quarterfinals and championship game. He struggled with limited minutes in the semifinals.

Rebounding with Quality Performances

Facing inconsistency, Wood rejoined the rotation during a road trip, seizing the opportunity. He delivered impactful performances against the San Antonio Spurs, contributing nine points and six rebounds in 21 minutes, followed by an impressive 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, and two blocks in 30 minutes during a loss.

Adapting to Unpredictability

Bouncing in and out of the rotation is undoubtedly challenging, but Wood maintains his focus on readiness. He emphasized staying prepared whenever his number is called, acknowledging the unpredictable nature of his role within the team.

Acknowledging Support from Coaching Staff and Teammates

Christian Wood appreciates the constant communication from the Lakers’ coaching staff and teammates. This communication ensures he remains prepared at all times, whether playing or not. Wood specifically mentions staying in the loop with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Coach Darvin Ham.

Challenges in the Backup Center Position

The Lakers face challenges in the backup center position, with Wood and Jaxson Hayes offering quality minutes but struggling against bigger opponents. Wood’s offensive rhythm becomes crucial for the team’s success, contingent on consistent playing time, which remains uncertain.

Wood’s Focus on ‘Little Things’

Understanding his limited role, Wood aims to contribute beyond scoring. He emphasizes doing the ‘little things’ during his minutes, showcasing versatility and aiming to secure more playing time through his valuable contributions.

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