It’s not just his and James’ minutes that have gone down, however. According to NBA.com’s tracking data, the Lakers already move at a slower average speed (4.05 miles per hour) than any team in the league, other than the Houston Rockets (3.99). During their last four wins, however, the Lakers’ advantages led to them having to scramble around even less, decelerating their average movement speed to an NBA-low 4.01 miles per hour over that stretch, slower than even the Rockets’ team they just blew out twice (4.02).
For context on just how much they’ve decelerated despite adding one of the speediest players in the NBA in Dennis Schröder and keeping their resident speedster Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, last year the Lakers moved at an average speed of 4.09 mph.
That may not sound like a lot, but every little bit of energy not expended helps as the Lakers try to manage their workload during a season turnaround unlike any other. If they take care of teams early, they won’t have to exert themselves as hard late, saving wear and tear both on and off the floor.